Dead elk sparks legal dispute over antlers’ ownership

elkAn elk in Sweden that was accidentally shot dead after it escaped a sanctuary in the north of the country has sparked a legal dispute over who owns its antlers. The hunter who shot the slain beast has sued the sanctuary because it is demanding the antlers are returned, and police are currently investigating the matter.

The Algens Hus sanctuary’s Christer Johansson has described the whole situation as ridiculous and terribly unnecessary. He said that two-year-old Linus was like a dog, explaining that he was easy-going around children and would lick visitors’ faces. He added that he was a terrific elk.

The elk was one of the biggest attractions at the sanctuary, where children were free to ride on his back because of his calm demeanor. Daniel Johansson, who also works at the sanctuary, said losing Linus is like losing a pet, but they have to move forward.

Linus escaped by crawling under a fence at the sanctuary. However, he was shot several kilometers away after the hunter, Stig Emilsson, spotted him. After the elk was identified, Christer Johansson took the antlers, a move that angered the hunter who insisted that, as the beast was shot in the wild, it legally belonged to him.

Emilsson reported Johansson for theft after liaising with Svenska Jagareforbundet (The Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management), claiming that the sanctuary worker took his antlers.

The police have now confiscated the antlers and started an investigation into the matter to determine who rightly owns the remains. Daniel Johansson added that they don’t care about the antlers too much, but they do want to know what happens If similar incidents happen in the future.