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Stockholm Day Trips: Gårdsjö Moose Park in Uppsala, Sweden

Updated on March 17, 2017
Beth Eaglescliffe profile image

Science graduate and business advisor, health educator and author, Beth writes articles on a wide variety of subjects.

A male moose resting in a field.
A male moose resting in a field. | Source

Meet Leffe “The Moose Man”

Leffe Lindh is a Swedish farmer who has turned his love of animals into a unique tourist attraction. Moose are wild animals, native to most parts of Sweden. (They are also called Elk in some parts of Europe.) For thousands of years moose have been hunted for sport as well as for their meat and hides. In recent years, conservation and an interest in the welfare of wild animals has made hunting moose for sport less popular. At the same time, there has been a growing interest in them from people who want to meet these incredible animals “up close and personal”. Moose are very shy and difficult to see in the wild. So the Gårdsjö Moose Park, near Uppsala, Sweden was born.

Leffe spends many hours every day with his moose family. When the moose calves are newly born he spends 24 hours a day with them and their mothers. This means they get to know him and trust him. They think he is one of their herd and so a great relationship is built between the famer and the wild animals. He provides them with a secure, semi-wild environment on his farm. In return he takes small groups of tourists to his fields and woods to see them.

In the video below you can see Leffe sharing a bath with his moose family!

Leffe Shares His Bath

Gårdsjö Moose Park Is Between Stockholm and Uppsala

Gårdsjö Moose Park is easy to visit on a day trip if you are staying in Stockholm. There are frequent fast trains from Stockholm and Uppsala to Morgongåva which is the nearest train station for the moose park. From there you will need to take a taxi ride or walk 6 kilometers (3 ½ miles) to Gårdsjö Moose Park.

You can book a taxi before you start your trip by using a tourist information office in Stockholm (or Uppsala) to help you. As I don’t speak Swedish, I found that was the easiest way to be sure the taxi firm knew where and when to meet me. Of course, if you are a fluent Swedish speaker then you will have no difficulty making your own taxi booking.

There is also the option to rent a cottage and stay overnight on the farm. If you do this you will get a personal tour of the moose park from Leffe. You will be able to have a safari and see the moose herd when there are few other visitors. Whichever your choice of visit, this moose park is a unique and memorable experience.

If you learn about the moose before your safari, you will get more from the experience. I recommend "Moose (Animal)" by Kevin Jackson. The book covers the natural history and folklore of elk and moose. The author is a visiting professor at University College, London, UK and his love of moose shines through his writing.

How The Moose Man Began

Location of Gårdsjö Moose Park, Sweden

show route and directions
A markerStockholm -
Stockholm, Sweden
get directions

B markerGårdsjö Älgpark (Moose Park) -
Gårdsjö Älgpark AB, GÅRDSJÖ 127, 744 91 Heby, Sweden
get directions

See live moose in a farm environment.

C markerMorgongåva -
744 50 Morgongåva, Sweden
get directions

Nearest train station to moose park

Close up of a big bull moose.
Close up of a big bull moose. | Source

The Rut and Estrus

In September and October, the female moose are on heat. The male moose become aggressive as they are only interested in mating with their females. This period of intense sexual activity is known as the rut and is common to all types of deer, elk and moose species. It is not safe for visitors to be taken close to the moose herd during the rut and so the Gardsjo Moose Park safari does not take place during these two months. If you are planning a visit you should check the farm’s website www (dot) gardsjoalgpark.se/en/ for their opening times.

The Moose Man's Story Continues

A Moose Safari Is Family Fun

The tour (or safari) of the moose park takes place via a specially adapted tractor trailer. Leffe has built a long seat on top of a standard farm trailer. It can carry over 100 people at a time. The bench has been built so that all visitors are seated facing outwards, towards the moose. Leffe makes several stops and entices the moose nearer by giving them treats. Visitors are not allowed to dismount from the trailer as the moose are only tame when handled by the farmer. They are large, heavy animals and their antlers can cause serious injury if they are provoked.

On the day of my visit there were lots of families with children present. Before starting the tour, Leffe gave safety instructions in English, Swedish, German and French. He made sure everyone understood that these were wild animals and must be treated with respect. There was plenty of opportunity to take close-up photographs and to (gently) touch the moose when they came right up to the trailer. It was wonderful to see these huge animals in a natural environment. Some of the younger children on the trailer were a bit overwhelmed by the sheer size of the animals, but Leffe reassured them and made sure they had a good time too.

The voiceover for the video below is in Swedish. The narrator says that Gårdsjö Elk Park is an incredible experience and an adventure for the whole family. He is excited to find that you can pat and meet moose up close outside in this farm near Uppsala.

Nine month old calf moose with its mother.
Nine month old calf moose with its mother. | Source

10 Moose Facts

Category
Moose Facts
Latin Name
Alces alces
Longevity
They live around 8 to 12 years
Average Weight
Adult males weigh 500 to 1000 kg (1100 to 2200 lbs)
Color
Can vary from dark brown, almost black to tan or reddish brown
Antlers
120 to 150 cm (45 to 60 inches) wide
Head
Large, long and heavy with small ears
Legs
Long slim legs with cloven hooves
Agility
Excellent swimmer (6 mph)
Food
Eat 73 lbs per day in summer and 34 lbs per day in winter
Diet
Vegetarian
Map showing global moose distribution.
Map showing global moose distribution. | Source

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    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 17 months ago from SW England

      Amazing! This is a wonderful place. I've always been attracted to Scandinavia and have visited Norway but not Sweden. The great outdoors and people like Leffe are priceless. How dedicated he is and how lucky those animals are to have him looking after them.

      Great hub, Beth. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. If I ever get the opportunity I shall certainly be going there.

      Ann

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