Norway’s rare albino moose under threat

a normal mooseSince its first sighting in 2006 in the forests south of Oslo, Norway’s rare albino moose known as “Albin” has become something of a national mascot. But a group of hunters recently threatened to shoot the creature if they can find it, reports the newspaper Aftenposten.

The moose has been seen around Valer, Spydeberg, Skiptvet and Svinndal over the past 2 years. Norway’s moose hunting season in this region started on 5 October and will remain open for a month. A local wildlife conservation official in Ostfold County told the newspaper VG rumours were circulating that a team of hunters was planning to track the albino moose and kill it as a trophy.

Although it is not illegal to kill the albino moose, most local hunters have agreed in the past that it should left alone out of respect for the rare animal. There are 400,000 registered hunters in Norway, 42,570 of them women. Most of the hunts occur in Hedmark and Nord-Trondelag, where an estimated one in seven men participates in the annual hunt. There are around 100,000 moose in Norway, and 35,000 were shot and killed in 2007.