Moose lovers were mourning the highly publicized loss this week of Norway’s near-legendary albino moose, killed by a Danish hunter who reportedly has few regrets. The moose wandered into his hunting area southeast of Oslo and he simply pulled the trigger.
Most Norwegian newspapers carried stories on Thursday about the hunting incident near Spydeberg, Østfold County, on Wednesday. Danish hunter Ole Frost was said to be unaware that the moose, nicknamed Albin, was popular and had been informally protected even by local hunting teams.
“The Dane hadn’t registered that the white moose was still protected,” Sigmund Lereim told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). “And when a large moose ox comes into your post, it’s possible to make a mistake. But we’re of course not especially happy that Albin was shot. It’s sad.”
For photos and video, see NRK’s coverage (external link, in Norwegian).
Frost, who had arrived for hunting in Norway on Monday, told Danish website bt.dk that he’d heard about a protected moose a few years ago but nothing recently. “So when I get it in my corner, I have just a few seconds to think about what I should do,” he told bt.dk. “But I decided to shoot the moose and it’s a decision I stand by.”
He quickly realized he hadn’t shot “just any moose, and when we gathered around it, someone said there would probably be press coverage.” He repeated that he “stands by” his decision to kill the moose, “although I would gladly be without all the noise that’s come afterwards.” He said he was “a bit amazed” that the shooting sparked so much reaction.
Lereim claimed that he thought Frost actually had some mixed feelings about the shooting because he packed up and ended his hunt immediately. But Lereim conceded it “was no wishful situation” that Albin is dead, even though Lereim told newspaper Dagbladet that Albin wasn’t “100 percent albino. He had grey eyes and a reddish-brown mane.” He was five years old.
Albin had been protected, if only by loose agreement among Norwegian hunters, since first spotted in 2007. “We had agreed that no one is so hungry for meat that we had to shoot him” Lereim said. His fellow Danish hunter clearly thought differently.
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