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I'm a student learning the Russian language and going to visit Moscow after the pandemic, and I've read on the Internet that there's a population of moose living inside that city. In particular, the official website of Moscow's mayor says:

Для борьбы с распространением коронавирусной инфекции с конца марта до начала июня вход в парки и на природные территории был ограничен, но жизнь там не останавливалась. За это время местные обитатели заметно осмелели и стали чаще выходить к людям. Москвичи регулярно замечали разных зверей, например лис и зайцев, но особое внимание привлекли гуляющие по улицам лоси. Специалисты подчеркивают, что за пределы зеленых зон животные выходили и раньше. Особенно это было заметно там, где места их обитания граничат с жилыми районами и дорогами. Популяция лосей в городе стабильна: одних можно встретить в национальном парке «Лосиный Остров», других — на территории ТиНАО.

My translation:

To fight the spread of the coronavirus, entrance to parks and natural areas was restricted between the end of March and the beginning of June, but life didn't stop there. During that period, the natural inhabitants got noticeably more daring and started coming out more frequently. Muscovites regularly saw various wild animals - for example, foxes and hares - but special attention was attracted by moose wandering on streets. Experts emphasize that it wasn't uncommon for animals to leave green zones before. This was especially noticeable at junctions of their habitats with residential areas and roads. The population of moose in Moscow is stable. Moose can be encountered in the Moose Island National Park as well as in the Troitsky and Novomoskovsky districts.

The information seems to be true as it's corroborated by numerous articles on the Internet. For instance, this article shows a photo of a moose taking a bath in the Golden Pond, just 5 miles from the Kremlin:

enter image description here

And this webpage shows a few videos of moose in the Sokolniki park and says they are not afraid of people at all. The Sokolniki park is a small park of just two square miles conveniently located near the subway station Sokolniki.

Moose are very cute animals and I'm excited about such an opportunity to take a selfie with a moose, just as I took selfies with wild kangaroos in the Murramarang National Park when I visited Australia, so I'd like to ask here for advice as to how I can see a moose in the wild in Moscow and take a selfie with it. I couldn't find any guide on this on the Internet, but I found a post by a park visitor who, together with a friend, had devised and implemented a plan to find a moose in the Sokolniki park. The poster says the plan bore fruit just after 20 minutes of searching in the park, but he doesn't reveal any details of the plan and only shows some photos he took.

So what route should I choose? Could you give me a good plan?

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    Have you posed on the same forum, within the same thread, and asked the poster where in the park the photos were taken? – DavidSupportsMonica Jul 23 '20 at 17:48
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    @DavidSupportsMonica : It's a currently inactive blog, not a forum, and the post dates back to 2009. The park has been renovated since then. So I didn't yet try to contact the poster. Let's see whether I get answers here. By the way, the pond in the photo in my question is in the Sokolniki park, so I know at least one park location where a moose was seen, but I don't think that I can easily find a moose by simply reaching that pond. I guess I need something like a search plan. – Mitsuko Jul 23 '20 at 18:17
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    Related (in russian) zen.yandex.ru/media/calories/… – VMAtm Jul 23 '20 at 22:20
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    Dare I say "Look for squirrel"? – Peter M Jul 24 '20 at 0:05
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    @VMAtm : This seems to be a good guide, thanks a lot! – Mitsuko Jul 25 '20 at 13:19
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Unfortunately (or not), moose near Moscow are not as ubiquitous as kangaroos in Australia. While the park aptly called "Лосиный Остров" ("Moose Island") does contain a small population of moose, the park is huge and mostly wild, and meeting them is more like winning the lottery. Sokolniki park, mentioned in the Livejournal post you've linked, is only rarely visited by moose, you can't rely on the encounter.

Finally, if you do manage to meet a moose, you'd really prefer to be at a safe distance, much further than would be practical for a selfie. So better leave the selfie stick at home and take a camera with a powerful zoom, go for a walk in Sokolniki and Losiny Ostrov: no guarantee, but you just might get lucky.

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Not the answer you're looking for, but trying to get a selfie with a wild moose (elk) is a really bad idea. Moose are very large animals with fearsome antlers, and they will charge if you get too close and they feel threatened, particularly if they have calves to defend. And unfortunately, moose that have ended up in urban areas tend to be distressed and hence dangerous. Here's what happened a few years ago when one got lost in central Helsinki: https://finlandtoday.fi/moose-breaks-into-a-bank-in-helsinkis-toolo-district/

Moose don't do well in zoos, because they need room to roam and have a complex diet that most feeds can't match. If you're up for an excursion, the Kostroma Moose Farm https://www.moose-farm.ru/e000.htm about 300km northeast of Moscow is a good (if somewhat controversial) place to see comparatively tame moose, and their website has some other suggestions as well.

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  • Maybe I shouldn't approach a moose too close, but I can just take a selfie with a moose standing at a safe distance on the background. A selfie with a moose in the wild would be an awesome selfie I could be proud of! I guess that if moose were too dangerous, they wouldn't be let to live within the city limits. – Mitsuko Jul 25 '20 at 13:40
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    @Mitsuko bears do frequent enough incursions in human territory to be the subject of numerous videos. I don’t think one would describe this as been “let to live” within city limits. Like all wild animals, they just don’t have any notion of borders... – jcaron Jul 25 '20 at 14:36
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I think it would work with the Moose Island National Park in Moscow. You can see its location via this link:

https://yandex.ru/maps/-/CCQtfJRUHC .

You can see there that the park extends beyond Moscow; the boundary is approximately the MKAD ring motorway. One way to get there is to take a local train from Yaroslavsky Vokzal and go to the stop Лось, the name of which means moose or elk.

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