alaska moose in a costco parking lot
YouTube, CBC

Watch: Moose Makes Costco Chaos

The moose took his time inspecting groceries and even taking a nap by the tire center.

A shopping trip to Costco isn't usually all that exciting. There are the usual hazards to navigate, rows and rows of bulk peanut butter pretzels, fellow customers maneuvering massive carts through the aisles, and long checkout lines, but nothing too spectacular.

Unless you live in Alaska, that is.

Amber Rotar was in the process of unloading her groceries in the Costco parking lot in Anchorage when a moose approached her. Luckily, she got the whole encounter, which she called "combat shopping," on camera and posted it to her Facebook page.

Showing no fear (and a good bit of interest in the cart) the young bull moose inspected her groceries, sticking his snout right into her cart. Rotar has clearly spent more than a few years in Anchorage, where close encounters with moose are common. She shows no fear, telling the moose to "scootch!" and that she'll "give him the sweet potatoes."

Another view shows Rotar shaking her finger at the moose, in a gesture we can probably all recognize from when we misbehaved when we were children.

Luckily, the moose quickly lost interest and moved on to inspect a nearby tree. According to Alaska Public Media (APM), the moose went through the entire parking lot, nibbling on the berries clinging to the small trees. At one point, the moose took a nap by the tire center, but by late afternoon, Costco decided it was time for the moose to move on.

Employees helped direct traffic in the parking lot and herded the moose back onto the road, where he moved onto greener pastures.

Allen Arnold, the store manager, told APM that moose wrangling is "Not generally part of my job description," said Arnold. "But today, you've got to adapt and overcome. He was quite friendly."

Alaska has been having a particularly harsh winter, with record snowfall and temperatures below -20F. Moose have a difficult time moving in deep snow and burn far more calories in winter, and the moose in Alaska, particularly in Anchorage, are hungry and stressed. While Anchorage is known for its downtown moose, there have been more and more moose encounters as the winter stretches on, including a teenager trampled an hour north of Anchorage earlier this month.

If you encounter a distressed or aggressive moose, make sure to give it a lot of space, and move slowly out of the area.

READ MORE: How to Avoid a Moose Attack