Hunters reportedly targeting white moose

Oct. 3, 2008 at 5:36 PM
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OSLO, Norway, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Some hunters in Norway are reported to have a rare albino moose in their sights.

The moose, with a white pelt that gives it a ghostlike or fairy tale quality, was first spotted south of Oslo two years ago, Aftenposten reported. Hunters have generally agreed to let the animal, nicknamed Albin, live in peace but that may no longer hold.

Asmund Fjellbakk, a local wildlife conservation officer, said he has heard some hunters think the white moose would make a splendid trophy.

"I heard about three to four weeks ago that the hunters are not going to protect the moose," Fjellbakk told the Oslo newspaper VG. "I've been told this by private persons."

The monthlong hunting season in Hedmark starts Sunday. Killing the albino moose is legal as long as it is done by a licensed hunter obeying the relevant laws.

Wildlife experts estimate the Norwegian moose population at 100,000, with 35,000 taken by hunters last year.

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