It appears that Anchorage's propensity for tipsy folks walking the city streets is not limited to the human kind.
Our resident moose, and we have several hundred who just seem to hang out in their own 'hoods, sometimes venture downtown to snack on tree branches in the wintertime. This particular bull participated in some early holiday fun one recent afternoon by ambling his way to our Town Square, calmly munching away at the branches while Anchorage-ites did their best to avoid him.
Remembering that moose can become characteristically grumpy for no particular reason at all, the fact that he was downtown in the middle of the afternoon, and in such a public place, a certain kink in normal operations took place. Everyone knows to give moose, especially the big guys, a wide berth, which can bring life to a screeching halt. Schoolchildren know to go another way or wait it out if moose are in their path, cars on the highway will idle while a moose ambles up the center lane, and most of you know of my story last fall when I was forced to drag my mountain bike 50+ yards down the muddy beach of the Coastal Trail when a rutting bull charged me.
So, among a public flurry of reorganization, this fine ungulate specimin continued eating from the tree, and in the process managed to take a string or two of LED lights with him, adorning his antlers like Chevy Chase in "Christmas Vacation". Finally, having had enough of the looky-loos, he changed course and, dragging the lights behind him, sauntered towards a more suitable venue for a man of his stature; Bernie's Bungalow martini bar. Ah, the ambiance of Bernie's seemed to suit our friend just fine, especially since Bernie's also has a large crabapple tree in their stylish garden area out back. And late-season crabapples, to boot.
Adorned with lights, chewing on the now-fermenting crabapples, the moose lay down in his own private nirvana and proceeded to get smashed. Eyes glazed, he watched the curious moose-watchers with the sort of expression one would expect to see at a Grateful Dead concert.
Eventually the Fish and Game officer, who apparently is an expert in dealing with drunken wild animals, arrived in time to see the Buzzed Bullwinkle nodding off to sleep, little lights twinkling merrily, in a cozy nest of leaves. He called him a cab.
Check out photos at www.adn.com, plus a number of other Anchorage moose photos.