The killing of a female white moose in a northern Ontario community by poachers has shocked the local residents.
The poachers killed two female moose, including one with a rare white coat. The remains of the animals, including their heads, were found discarded.
White animals, also known as “spirit” — whether they are bears, moose, raven, etc. — are considered sacred by the area’s Indigenous people, including the local Flying Post First Nation, and therefore should not be harmed.
According to The Guardian, Chief Murray Ray of nearby Flying Post First Nation said, “Everybody is outraged and sad. Why would you shoot it? No one needs one that bad. If you have a license to shoot a cow moose, you could shoot another one. Just leave the white ones alone.”
White moose are not albino; they get their color from a recessive gene and are a rare sight. The Flying Post First Nation has asked for the pelt of the moose to be returned so a ceremony could be held to honor it.
Troy Woodhouse, a member of the Flying Post community, said, “It saddens me that somebody would take such a beautiful animal. Nobody knows exactly how many are in the area, so the loss of a single spirit moose is one too many.”
Woodhouse has offered a reward of $760 to anyone who comes forward with information that could lead to the arrest of the poachers. A local company has matched Woodhouse’s reward, and an animal welfare group has offered nearly $4,000. The total reward is now at $8,000.