Incredible shots of the rare ‘ghost-moose’ of Sweden’s Värmland

Posted on 16 September 2021 By David Henning

Värmland, Sweden, the border area with Norway is a natural wonderland stretching across central-west Sweden, spanning rolling hills and deep forest, and boasting some 10,000 lakes.

According to researchers, there are about 30 moose with a rare kind of mutation called leucism, which gives the moose an egg-white colour.

Nature photographer, Roger Brendhagen, shared his amazing shots of a rare leucistic ‘ghost-moose’ photographed in the Värmland region. Despite the animal’s all-white appearance, its colouring does not result from albinism.

Leucism is a rare pale colouring obtained from a recessive gene that causes animals to grow white with brown spots, usually referred to as piebald.

Göran Ericsson a professor of elk and moose at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, explains that news of this rare condition emerges every year and it’s possible that the prevalence of these leucistic moose is increasing.

According to Erricson, this is because Scandanavia has few predators, except for humans. Hunters are less likely to kill a moose that is white and are therefore more protected (In Canada, hunters are prohibited from killing moose that are more than 50 % white in colour). Few predators mean that a white moose has a better chance of survival than in a predator-dense environment such as North America, where leucism is less common in moose.

Without an official database, however, it can’t be definitively said if the ghost-moose is becoming more common. One thing is for certain, these animals are incredibly striking to look at. Here are some of the incredible shots taken by Roger Brendhagen.







Roger Brendhagen is a nature photographer with extensive experience taking nature photos around the world and photographic affiliations with Nikon and the World Wildlife Federation (WWF).

He’s currently working on a book featuring both this amazing animal as well as the small mountain fox.





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