Dane shoots Norway’s best-known albino elk

The shooting of an albino elk by a Danish hunter in south-east Norway has brought death threats for the hunting trip operator Norwegian hunters who had long agreed to let the white mammal live.

The albino elk, or moose as the animal is called in North America, is a white-furred sign of good fortune in the lore of northern native peoples in Scandinavia and North America. Its appearance on hunting trips has been enough for many to call off their hunt.

The Danish hunting club leader said he has reported a number of death threats he said were “unpleasant” after the white elk, known locally as Albin, was shot on Wednesday afternoon near the village of Spydeberg in Østfold County.

“(The death threats) were of such a serious nature that it’s a case for the police,” said hunt organizer Sigmund Lerheim.

“There’s nothing funny about it when you have a family,” a tired Lerheim told newspaper VG.

Lerheim said his hunting comrades wanted to be open about having shot the protected albino.

North American, Russian and Scandinavian indigenous people have believed a white elk, or moose, to be a bringer of good luck.

The Norwegian newspaper’s online affiliate, VG Nett, allowed mourners to send their “condolences” to the white mammal. Its annual appearances had been reported dutifully by wide-ranging Norwegian news bureaus.

Lerheim said his troop wasn’t happy about the Dane among them shooting the Great White, although he said it was legal. The animal was protected by a deal among hunters, although the Dane appears to have shot a slightly “soil-covered” elk that was “grey on the sides” unaware that it was “Norway’s best-known elk”.

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