Moose feasts on lobby plants in Alaska hospital

By Mark Thiessen
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

So this moose walks into an medical building…

While that could be a setup to a bad joke, it actually happened in Anchorage on Thursday.

A young moose trudging through the snow looking for a meal spotted green plants in the lobby of a medical building in the Providence Alaska Health Park and decided to drop in for a dose of greenery.

The ingenious — or lucky — moose triggered the sensors on the automatic doors to the building that houses the hospital’s cancer center and other medical offices, said Randy Hughes, the hospital’s director of security.

“We received a call from one of our tenants advising that a moose had just walked into the building,” Hughes said.

Hughes believes it’s the same moose that has been hanging around campus. And even though moose are commonplace in Alaska, they made an announcement over the intercom of the moose’s presence out of safety concerns.

“But it seemed like it was a magnet for people to come and see it,” he said. “It’s not every day you get a moose walking into a building, so everybody was excited to take pictures and stuff like that.”

On one video posted on social media, a woman wearing a mask and dressed in scrubs can be heard saying, “That’s crazy,” as she walked by the moose, snapping a photo with her phone.

The moose was too preoccupied eating the office plants to notice the stir he was causing.

Security officers formed a semicircle to corral the moose and shoo it out the door. One officer even grabbed a piece of the plant the moose had been eating and tried to lure it out.

“Finally, I think it had enough of everybody watching him, watching him eat,” Hughes said.

The moose vacated the building but hung around in the building’s semicircular drive for a bit before heading to the other side of the building to bed down for an afternoon.

This wasn’t the first time a moose went inside one of the hospital complex’s buildings, and bears have tried to get into the emergency room before.

Hughes said there’s “never a dull moment here at the hospital.”