Hunter Stig Emilsson killed Linus, a 2-year-old male elk, in September after he managed to get out of his enclosure at the Algens Hus elk sanctuary in Bjurholm, northern Sweden, The Local.se reported Monday.
Christer Johansson, with the sanctuary has claimed ownership over the elk's remains after the body was identified as Linus.
"Linus was a terrific elk. He was like a dog. He'd lick your face and was very easy-going around children," Johansson's son Daniel told The Local. "Losing him is like losing a pet. It's hard, but we're just going to have to move forward."
Emilsson then filed a theft lawsuit against Johansson, alleging that because Linus was killed in the wild, his remains belonged to the hunter.
"I have reported Christer for theft on the advice of The Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management. He took my antlers," Emilsson told Sveriges Television.
Police are holding Linus' remains in custody until the dispute is settled.