By Tilly Armstrong For Dailymail.Com
19:30 25 Apr 2023, updated 19:40 25 Apr 2023
A hungry moose was caught on camera walking into a movie theater in Kenai, Alaska, before leaving with a McDonald’s happy meal.
Employees at Kenai Cinemas were shocked when the animal entered the building and began rooting through the trash last week.
In a video posted on social media, an employee can be heard saying ‘he’s not leaving’, as the moose sticks its snout into an old happy meal box.
The theater boss said he believed the animal was attracted by the smell of popcorn.
It comes just weeks after a moose wandered into the lobby of an Anchorage hospital through an automatic door, and began eating some potted plants.
Video posted on social media shows the animal wandering through the front door from the outside, while an employee says ‘what am I going to do’ and repeats ‘no, no, no.’
The curious moose briefly entered the theater, apparently sniffing the air and then began rummaging through the trash on the other side of the room.
The employee can be heard laughing, and saying: ‘There’s nothing I can do. Go outside, where you belong. You can’t watch a movie.’
Additional footage shows employees letting the animal out, which still had a happy meal box attached to its muzzle.
Theater manager Ricky Black said Anchorage Daily News whose first reaction was to laugh at the situation.
‘He’s behind the counter,’ he said of the employee. ‘He was not in immediate danger from the moose,. And she’s like, “Stop laughing. This is serious.”‘
He said he thought the smell of popcorn attracted the animal. The theater’s front door was open to let in fresh air while an employee cleaned the popcorn machine, which released a lot of heat — and the distinct smell of popcorn, Black explained.
‘It must smell like popcorn. It’s just a very common reaction for anybody or anything that comes into the theaters,’ he added.
Nick Fowler, a wildlife biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, told the outlet that this is the time of year when moose are most ‘nutritionally limited’.
‘I don’t know if a Happy Meal is good for a moose or not. However, I can say with confidence that it is not in its natural diet,’ says Fowler.
He added that in situations like this, ‘the best thing we can almost always do is make sure there’s a lot of distance, and we don’t get too close to the animal’.
It comes weeks after another moose entered the Providence Health Park medical facility in Anchorage – and had to be escorted away by security.
The young moose ran straight into some potted plants as hospital employees and civilians took photos and videos of the unusual sight.
When security arrived at the hospital, the moose glared at some of the security guards.
Randy Hughes, the hospital’s director of security, said, ‘it’s not every day you get a moose walking through a building, so everyone was excited to take pictures and things like that.’
To prevent the large animal from running wild, people helped form a circle while others held some branches from the plants to try to sway the moose to walk towards the automatic gates.
No one was injured, and the animal eventually left, before taking a nap in the snow outside the building.