Alas, Buzzwinkle--Anchorage's ancient, crab-apple- eating, Christmas-light-wearing moose--is no more. He was 13 years old, three years older than most wild moose ever get to be. His old body just couldn't move any more, so last week wildlife biologist Rick Sinnott ushered him humanely into the great moose meadow in the sky.
Residents and wildlife biologists apparently regarded Buzzwinkle as one of their own, and treated him as kindly as they would anyone's drunk old uncle stumbling about. In November, he got tangled in a rope swing in someone's yard, then went to Town Square Park and snagged his antlers on Christmas lights. With Christmas lights still dangling, the mellow moose ambled over to Bernie's Bungalow Lounge and ate a pile of fermented crab apples he found in the courtyard. Then he "assumed a disoriented pose as he began snorting steam and staring off into the distance, apparently drunk," according to the Anchorage Daily News. That's when people started calling him "Buzzwinkle", a title Sinnot affectionately called the "most embarrassing nickname ever given to a moose."
But Buzzwinkle might have had something there. Christmas in Anchorage is very dark and cold. What better way to pass the time than by decorating your head and snorting steam?