MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Verna Wendinger was on her farmhouse porch on Sunday, pounding out a dust mop.
That’s when she caught something near the backyard garden out the corner of her eye. Whatever it was seemed strangely out of place.
“All of a sudden it turned around and, oh my!” Verna said. “Thought was it was a horse, and i thought, ‘Oh, it’s got antlers.'”
What she was looking at was certainly no whitetail deer. It was clearly much larger and darker.
Sleepy Eye sits amid great open expanses of rich farm fields and not evergreen forests. It’s in a part of Minnesota known more for milk cows and not moose.
“It just absolutely came and laid down there (laughs) and decided to stay,” Verna said.
It’s still in Verna and Leonard Wendiner’s back yard four days later, perfectly content to munch on apples where the couple normally feeds birds.
Knowing full well this moose had wandered hundreds of miles from its northwoods habitat, Leonard called wildlife experts with the Department of Natural Resources.
“He just looked at it and said, ‘Amazing,'” Leonard said. “I asked him whether he thought there was something wrong, he says, ‘I don’t think so. He he looks healthy.'”
Despite being a young bull with a relatively small set of antlers, it still stands about 7 feet tall.
With their wind row of evergreens, Leonard says the moose likely feels right at home.
“I think we’re stuck with it!” Verna said.
The Wendingers now have a northwoods attraction — right outside the kitchen window.