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A rare white moose has become an internet hit in Sweden

STOCKHOLM — A clip of a rare white moose in western Sweden has garnered huge interest on social media, the cameraman said Monday.

"I was lucky to be on my own, and we were alone for about 20 minutes," Hans Nilsson told dpa about his encounter with the bull moose.

Nilsson, who is head of the municipal council of Eda in the western province of Varmland, said he spotted the moose on Thursday and snapped a quick photo, before returning on Friday when he saw the moose again.

"It was close to the road," he said, allowing Nilsson to follow the moose at close range.

Nilsson said he had long hoped to catch the moose on camera and was "lucky that it gelled."

A video clip Nilsson shared Saturday with the regional media outlet P4 Sveriges Radio Varmland has garnered over 1 million views, while Nilsson's Facebook page has registered tens of thousands of hits.

The clip shows the moose swimming across a stream and grazing on some bushes.

Nilsson doubted there was risk the moose would be shot.

"It's such a big and grand moose that local hunters leave it alone. I just hope no trophy hunter tries to take a pot shot."

Moose, known as the king of the forest, are normally brown. They number about 300,000 in Sweden. There are an estimated 100 white moose.

The white color was attributed to a genetic defect known as leucism — from the Greek leukos meaning white — which results in the loss of skin and hair pigment.

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