“Everyone is outraged and sad. Why would you film it? Nobody needs it this bad, ”said Chief Murray Ray, Flying Post First Nation. “If you have a license to kill a cow moose, you can shoot another. Leave the whites alone.
The rare white moose get their ashy coloring from a recessive gene and are revered like the white bison, ravens, and grizzly bears.
“It saddens me that someone takes such a beautiful animal,” said Troy Woodhouse, member of the Flying Post community. “No one knows exactly how many there are in the area, so the loss of a single Spirit Moose is one too many.
Woodhouse reminded the Guardian of the first time he spotted a young white elk with his wife near the house of his grandfather, who lived in the area.
“It was a sign that he was watching over us on earth. It was very special for me, ”he said.
Wildlife photographer Mark Clement said he spotted at least four over the years and estimated the area could be home to as many as 30.
In 2013, three hunters in Nova Scotia were accused of killing a white moose by the Mi’kmaq and were forced to return the hide of the animal to the tribe, although they kept their heads as trophy. The skin has become a centerpiece of a multi-day mourning ceremony by the Mi’kmaq.
Wildlife officials are asking locals to help them lead the killer. Woodhouse and others in the area, including animal activists and a sympathetic drilling company, have pooled $ 8,000 (US $ 6,121) for anyone who can lead to the culprit.
“Maybe the hunters tried to catch one moose and caught the other by accident. If a person shows up and admits what they’ve done, I would spend my share on any of their legal fees, ”Woodhouse said. “There is so much negativity in the world today. It’s nice to see people come together and try to turn that into something positive.