Correction: This story originally reported that the moose calf was born in the parking lot of the Lowe's hardware store, based on posts seen on social media. It's unclear where the moose was actually born. An updated story is below.
A cow moose and newborn calf spent hours in the busy parking lot of an Anchorage hardware store Tuesday, to the delight of shoppers and bystanders who came to see the animals as word spread on social media.
The still-wobbly calf had wandered into the parking lot with its mother mid-morning Tuesday, according to Stacy Gates, manager of the Lowe's hardware store at Tikahtnu Commons shopping center on Muldoon Road.
Gates said she was outside the store's garden department with members of her team when she saw the two moose walking across the parking lot.
It wasn't clear where or exactly when the moose had been born — some on social media speculated that it may have been born on the military base that borders the hardware store to the west, while Gates and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson conservation law enforcement officer Mark Sledge believe it wandered from the direction of the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System or JBER hospital that sit on the other side of Muldoon.
In the parking lot, the two moose made their way to a dirt-filled parking median near a fire hydrant and light pole that then became their home for the next several hours. What drove them to that location also wasn't clear.
By noon, news of the animals had begun circulating on Facebook, and the area was cordoned off with cones to prevent onlookers and vehicles from getting too close to the moose.
Anchorage wildlife photographer Coby Brock, 38, drove to the store after hearing about the newborn on Facebook. He said cow and calf were sitting in the shade in front of a Jeep, and the calf was still wobbly.
As a photographer, Brock said he goes looking for moose, but it was the youngest he'd seen so far this year. A video posted by Brock to his Kiss a Moose business page on Facebook showed the calf nuzzling up to its mother, which was breathing heavily in the midday sun as onlookers captured the moment on smartphones.
"In Anchorage, you're never surprised where you'll find a moose," Brock said.