Norwegian politician may travel to Canada for possible moose statue summit

MOOSE JAW, Sask. — The deputy mayor of a Norwegian town says she may be coming to Saskatchewan to discuss a possible truce in an ongoing battle over the world's tallest moose sculpture.

Linda Otnes Henriksen says she has been following efforts by people in Moose Jaw to raise funds to boost the height of the community's beloved Mac the Moose.

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The rivalry started when it was revealed that her town of Stor-Elvdal had a silvery moose sculpture that was taller than Mac by 30 centimetres.

Moose Jaw Mayor Fraser Tolmie told CKRM radio that he's open to conversations about twinning the communities and building relations over the sculptures, but says plans still involve making Mac taller.

Otnes Henriksen says Stor-Elvdal doesn't have the kind of money to keep building bigger sculptures to compete with Moose Jaw.

She suggests the Saskatchewan city raises Mac's height to be equal to the Norwegian moose.

"Maybe, you know, we could get out of this by making the moose the same height," Otnes Henriksen told The Canadian Press in an interview on Sunday.

Last week, Moosehead Breweries donated $25,000 towards making Mac the tallest moose statue in the world again. A GoFundMe campaign has also been launched to support the campaign, with the goal of raising $50,000.

Some ideas proposed for raising the statue's height include bigger antlers, although adding an RCMP Stetson hat or stilettos have also been proposed.

Mac weighs 9,000 kilograms and has been welcoming visitors from his perch along the Trans-Canada Highway since 1984.

Tolmie says the people of Canada want to have the bigger moose.

"To be quite honest with you, I think our plans are still going to be that we're going to be making Mac the tallest moose and regaining that crown," the Moose Jaw mayor told CKRM on the weekend.

The rivalry has gained international media attention, including a segment on "The Late Show" with Stephen Colbert.

Otnes Henriksen said the moose in her community was designed by an artist and couldn't be easily enlarged, although she noted the artist has discussed the idea of building another, taller moose.

The current moose is in a spot where it appears to emerge from the woods, and is part of a road safety campaign to remind drivers to be on the lookout for the huge animals.

Otnes Henriksen said she's never been to Canada and looks forward to a possible trip.

"I really hope we can make that happen," she said.

— By Rob Drinkwater in Edmonton. With files from CKRM

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