Ross Brooks

Nova Scotia's Sacred Albino Moose Killed by Visiting Hunters

by , 10/16/13
filed under: Animals, News

Mi'kmaq, Unamaki Institute of Natural Resources, Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Highlands, Canada, Sacred Animal, Spirit Animal, White Moose, Albino Moose, Hunters, Trophy Head, Taxidermy,

Three hunters have sparked outrage both online and amongst the indigenous Mi’kmaq people of Nova Scotia by killing a rare albino moose that is considered sacred. The three unnamed hunters were unaware of the animal’s spiritual significance when they killed it in the Cape Breton Highlands of Nova Scotia, Canada. It was only after photos caused a backlash on Facebook (which have since been taken down) that the trio realized the gravity of their mistake.


Mi'kmaq, Unamaki Institute of Natural Resources, Nova Scotia, Cape Breton Highlands, Canada, Sacred Animal, Spirit Animal, White Moose, Albino Moose, Hunters, Trophy Head, Taxidermy,

The Mi’kmaq people consider all white animals to be “spirit” animals and have known about the moose for years, but refrained from harming it due to its significance within the community. Clifford Paul, moose management co-ordinator for the Unamaki Institute of Natural Resources highlighted what the animals mean to the aboriginal people when he spoke with CBC:

“We know the significance and we’ve been teaching that to the non-native population for almost 500 years — about the importance that this and other white animals played in our lives,” he said. “We are not to harm them in any way, shape, or form because they could be one of our ancestors coming to remind us of something significant that’s going to happen within our communities.”

Jim Hnatiuks, who runs a hunting and taxidermy store in Lantz, informed the hunters of their transgression when they brought the carcass into his store. He has also expressed regret on behalf of the hunters, saying that:

“These are good men and they broke no law, and they have expressed that it would have been nice to have known more about the significance of these white moose. Hopefully through this, many are much more informed and, this provides the catalyst for more to be done.”

As reported by AFP, locals also consider it bad luck to kill white animals, which led to the hunters returning the moose hide to the Mi’kmaq people, allowing them to perform a four day ceremony to honor the animal. While this may be enough to ease the outrage of some, it doesn’t quite explain why the hunters have kept the sacred moose’s head as a trophy.

Via TreeHugger

Images by Hnatiuks Hunting Fishing Ltd.

Related Posts

LEAVE A COMMENT

or your inhabitat account below

Let's make sure you're a real person:


65 Comments

  1. Jealoushe  October 3, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    UGH these guys suck. What a trophy to shoot an animal that sticks out like a sore thumb. Boo.

  2. boomcity September 29, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Hunting in general is a joke. Anyone who kills animals for “fun” or for “sport” is a fucking piece of shit and deserves to be shot themselves.

  3. Dreadlock September 25, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    I think I’ve seen more ignorance in the comments here than these hunters demonstrated, for sure. Trevor Smith, as a US citizen, I take offense to your attack on my fellow Americans. You try and put yourself off as one who’s been taught of respect? that’s a joke, sir. “I think these hunters were American, any other hunter(s) would not have taken the shot…” While you had little credibility before this part of your post, you lost even that, with an attack on an entire country, many of whom are as ignorant as you, and have never and never will hunt. Did you realize while typing your post that many of us Americans are also aboriginal natives to North America? and that there may have been a chance that our elders taught us some things about respect, as well? As for most the rest of the comments, did you not catch, in the article, that no laws were broken? It’s one thing to have passions and causes, what would we be without that, but quite another to hurt your own cause, with a lack of self control, or destroy your own credibility at the detriment of your cause. And why make enemies of those not even engaged in the fight? I would like to say, also, that I am impressed with the amazing ability of most of you to know the hearts of these men. With people like you protecting the planet, I am stupefied as to why this planet has any problems of any kind! Personally, if I did hunt, I would never kill an albino moose, deer, fox, or any other animal. I put to you this: can’t you be a visitor to Nova Scotia, Canada without being an American (US citizen)??? I have friends who are Canadian citizens, I know no one person’s actions or statements can describe an entire country’s population. There’s a word for that that any Archie Bunker fan knows. Do you know what that word is?

  4. SatoriSage September 25, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    why isn’t it illegal to kill an albino/white animal? Why didn’t the local game department make it illegal? If they had done their job, these jokers would be in prison where they belong.

  5. Puma Cabra September 24, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    This is a tragic loss of Spirit.
    However, there are no accidents.
    Bringing awareness of our connected living Spirit, to the ignorant masses, is the purpose of this Animal’s visit among our collective consciousness. I am thankful this Soul was willing to make this sacrifice for us all.
    Even Rob Mclean here is feeling this loss. Whether fully aware of it, or not, he learns.
    We must do our diligence to honor the Life, and Lessons of this magnificent Creature, and share this story as far, and wide as we can.
    Love, Gratitude, Respect.

  6. URcursed September 18, 2014 at 4:46 am

    These men are cursed they will not live more than a year. They’re as good as dead

  7. Robert Sultani September 17, 2014 at 7:26 am

    Ron Maclean youre fucking NAZI…

  8. Robert Sultani September 17, 2014 at 7:23 am

    Morons… Big Macho Hunters hiding behind the bushes to kill a harmless and RARE animal… Piece of Shits

  9. Sarah Jumel September 12, 2014 at 11:36 am

    They kept the head because they are selfish bastards who want to show it off. I feel sorry for their wives and kids. What worthless jerks.

  10. KatM September 11, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    I love that they are “un-named hunters”. If they are so proud of killing such a beautiful animal…..then why hide themselves. The fact that they kept the head shows that they have not remorse. And if they are saving it for the chance to sell it in the future….that just goes to show that money is the bottom line. Sad, just sad.

  11. Eva Earthspirit September 10, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    THESE MEN SHOULD HAVE TO REPENT AND SIGN A DECLORATION THAT THEY WILL NEVER KILL AGAIN……..

  12. Jessica Leeman September 7, 2014 at 10:44 am

    They kept the head because it will sell for big money down the road. They took advantage of a situation they knew they could legally get away with. They weren’t the first to see the animal, just the first who had no conscience or respect for nature.

  13. belloart September 7, 2014 at 3:41 am

    Wow yes these people should be put in Afghanistan where they can shot down like the pieces of shit they are send all hunters to war let them play with their guns their !…..IDIOTS

  14. Styles September 6, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Philo Sophia is absolutely right. Any decent Human being with a once of good judgment would of said “Wow… what a beautiful animal! I’ve never seen one like this , it must be rare! WE SHOULD LET IT LIVE!” These idiots have no remorse … they just say things so we don’t start harass them further

  15. Philo Sophia September 6, 2014 at 5:39 am

    I know truly good men who are true hunters. They hunt for their food source and respectfully use all of the animal. Good men do not take selfies with an animal they just killed, treating it like a trophy or a game..sport. That is a diseased man..not a good man.
    A good man would know immediately when seeing such a rare beauty, that it is wrong to take what is limited. This is common sense to a Good Man.
    A good man does not eat all his corn, he saves the best seeds so that he may sow, A good man does not harvest all of a rare plant… he leaves it alone, so it has the opportunity to floursih.
    There ignorance was a choice and they knew it in their hearts before the triggered was pulled…but they are not good men…they did not listen to their hearts …they chose in greed and that is not how a good man is defined.

  16. Philo Sophia September 6, 2014 at 5:21 am

    These poor expressions of humanity represent the diseased, sick , pathological wretchedness that is killing beauty from minds, greedily sucking up all the moisture of our life force and driving a dark hole on the heart of humanity. Poisoned with Selfish Greed. These men are like rabid dogs.
    A disgrace upon humanity.

  17. Larry Lavelle September 5, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    if I could read and write…..you would not like to read what i think of these men

  18. Cheryl Gavreluk September 5, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    3 freaking stooges!!!! I hope they pay big for this. People who hunt really do suck. if you want to shoot a gun then join the military.

  19. Maureen Skaar September 5, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    why? can we shoot THEM? that might be great

  20. Trevor Smith September 5, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    I think that the native band allowed them to keep the head? I think that responsibility lies with the Provincial and Federal Governments, they are the ones that issue permits/ hunting licenses to every hunter in Canada, including those that are from another country coming here to hunt, so they should have informed these hunters of the importance of the “white” moose with the Aboriginal community or any other “white” animal within Canada.
    Benjamin Drinkin: You comment makes no sense, in the story it says “all white animals to be “spirit” animals and have known about the moose for years, but refrained from harming it due to its significance within the community.” Maybe less drinking and sober up, also like you and other Non-Native People need to educate themselves on how we Natives respect Nature, and how our teachings from our Elders on how to respect it. I think also the Hunters need to bare more responsibility for shooting a RARE animal, I think that these hunters were American, any other hunter(s) would not have taken the shot…

  21. Benjamin Drinkin September 5, 2014 at 1:38 am

    Hunting for sport isn’t cool, but I can’t help but wonder if people would be up in arms if it were the natives themselves hunting it.

  22. paintress September 4, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    How dare they kill any living creature?
    Which one of them is willing to give up his life to make up for it?

  23. mrjazzitup September 4, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Bernie,

    You should turn off the TV and use you brain for a change. If you want to pro ice a counterargument to mine then do so; rather than resorting to ad hominems and distractors.

  24. Sandra Lobo September 4, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    To keep the head as a trophy indicates no respect. These guys will have known about this moose in advance of them coming to hunt. Blah, just more bull shit people tell to get away with whatever they feel like doing. The head and carcass make a body, to grief they need the body, especially the head. It can’t be made right, but for crying out loud, give back the head!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. Michelle September 4, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    White or not it is an animal, a walking breathing spirit of this earth. Hunting is not a game, a game is when two players concede to the rules and know they are playing. To the people saying it’s obviously special cause it’s white, I say it’s obviously special because it was ALIVE, no more special than it’s birth Mother or brother’s and sisters who may be colored. They are all special period.

  26. Delores Kelly September 4, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Even if it wasn\\\’t sacred to the natives. Being a rare animal it should not have been killed .. They should be a law book out for hunters with what they are. To hunt personally I think hunting for sport is unjust and cruel .. Hunting animals for. Food and warmth i is what it should be kept to to many people with no heart killing animals for fun to me is heartbreaking .. Heartless people …

  27. mechele67 September 3, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Where does everyone think their meat is coming from? No different, if you eat it, it\’s being killed somewhere!!!

  28. Ron Mclean September 3, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    Tell the Indians to suck it up,its a moose!!Not a spirit.Its game,if you lost in the woods and starving.Its would still be game.They broke no white man law and white man still owns Canada.

  29. Silvio Carvana September 3, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Karma is direct reflection of what one puts out into the universe. As easy as it would be to wish a lifetime of regret and ill will come to these murderers. Actually yeah that\\\’s it if some bad things happened to them it would be the universe\\\’s response to their actions. Stupid white men strike again. Hunting is stupid unless you\\\’re starving.

  30. Jason White September 3, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    It’s a giant white moose, did they really think they were the first hunters to come across it… That’s how you know there’s no Big Foot, some idiot would of shot it long ago :/

  31. Aliesja Andrews September 3, 2014 at 11:19 am

    “they wished they had known more of its significance” because you know white moose are just EVERYWHERE! common sense says its FUCKING SPECIAL! morons should be tarred and feathered!!!

  32. Shelby Quesseth September 3, 2014 at 9:45 am

    If you’re hunting in New territory why would you not find out about area and research a lil first?
    Such a great loss to Canada.

  33. Ming Chang September 3, 2014 at 12:56 am

    F*ckin\\\’ IDIOTS!!

  34. David Veal September 2, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    So, when you become aware, and you return the animal to these people who have a sacred affection for it, don’t keep the head. Really. You had a chance to be real men up until then.

  35. Jargo September 2, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    And even though they were confronted with their transgression they went ahead and posted their pictures on Facebook? This doesn’t sound like what I would do if I had just found out I killed THE sacred animal.

  36. Leslie Cronk September 2, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    Losers. Shooting an animal and posing with it screams LOSER.

  37. Garr September 2, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    “Derrr lookit dat! It looks differ’nt! Let’s killit!”

  38. Vanessa Hurst September 2, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    These guys are NOT good men! They are not men at all! They are three dickless guys that have to kill “RARE” animals to feel like men…..How many white moose do we see in Canada? Ashamed to know they are Canadian! I hope their karma is them an angry moose and no guns!!!

  39. Monica Tomosovich Pilyih September 2, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    So sad what a loss!! They should be ashamed….

  40. Nuria Rodriguez September 2, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    What the hell is wrong with these nimrods? I can’t stand any form of hunting. Why why why would you kill something this beautiful? I wish every single hunter in the would would be made to take a 4 week course in being the victim of hunters. Then I wonder how happily they would take up hunting again.

    And please spare me the “these are good men” garbage.

  41. Heather Stender September 2, 2014 at 9:43 am

    The fact that they “didn’t know” the history of the animal is NO excuse. If they want to be trigger happy killers, they should know damn well what they are aiming at, no??? Trophy killers are some of the worst kinds of people on the planet. I don’t feel bad for these guys one bit. I hope the backlash from this makes them have to go into hiding. Maybe then they’ll think twice about being such savage killers.

  42. Dame-Adey May September 2, 2014 at 9:34 am

    Idiots, idiots everywhere !!!

  43. Couchsurfingcook September 2, 2014 at 8:19 am

    You did nothing wrong .I hope you enjoy your meat.

  44. Couchsurfingcook September 2, 2014 at 4:28 am

    “These are good men” – their pleasures are derived from hunting and killing defenceless sentient beings – moreover, they happen across a creature they ‘know’ is rare, and murder it regardless.

    ‘These are fvkin monsters’.

  45. Julie Karcher Bieri September 2, 2014 at 3:26 am

    yes, these men knew that an Albino Moose is very rare, but instead chose to kill it for a trophy. yes, trophy hunters=trash of the Planet. Why hunt if u don’t need the food? Hunting and fishing were created when people needed to kill animals for food.

  46. Natural Woman September 1, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    Idiots. Another example of them going into lands that don\’t belong to them and taking or destroying precious resources. Everywhere they go they disrespect the lands.

  47. mynameisobel September 1, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    Don’t kill moose in the 1st place. Problem solved.

  48. Kirstin Morrell September 1, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    How terrible.

    What I want to know is why no one at the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources bothered to tell them to not shoot the albino moose when they issued the license.

    It’s not common sense, and the two cultures involved see the situation differently. Natural Resources really screwed up with this one.

  49. Edie Cleveland September 1, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Well now – if the fools didn’t hunt, we wouldn’t have a problem, would we? Why is it that expletives deleted can’t take home photos and a video so that others can also experience the joy of seeing such a beautiful and unusual work of nature where it lived? Beore they slaughtered it.

  50. Bernie Wolfe September 1, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Mrjazzitup, um yeah. Your comment is sadly irrelevant. You’re not Spock. Even he had scruples. You do not. You use the non emotion, irrelevant diatribe as a cover to be a dick. Plain and simple. With your “logic” we might as well kill everything. We did a good thing lying, pushing and killing the natives off their land. To bad, so sad, we took your land that you had all the sentimental value on. Our laws from gawd give us legal right to take it from you, yeah.Sad, the things you must do to “feel” good about yourself lol.

  51. plum September 1, 2014 at 4:11 am

    Tragic – so sad that people feel the need to hunt any animal but this murder was particularly sad for all concerned.

  52. Dalene Todd September 1, 2014 at 2:57 am

    You would think that they would have enough respect for the animal in that it was very rare not to kill it, but instead could only think of a trophy when will people realize that animals should not be killed just to be a trophy. Shame is all I can think of….they should not be allowed to hunt again. It really makes me sick and my heart feel really heavy.

  53. John Harris August 31, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Nothing against hunters or the act of hunting (for food), but these guys… the kind of physical and spiritual backlash they’re gonna get, it’s gonna be like some shite from Final Destination. Nice photo spread Mook, I hope someone is able to get one with you, after an eighteen wheeler falls from the sky and crushes you into a paste of beer and beanie weinies.

  54. SaDonna Klos Brorson August 31, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Let me guess – they were from the USA where we kill everything including each other and little children with no remorse.
    So very sad.

  55. Eric Hood August 31, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    They kept the head because they have no regard for other life. They are trophy hunters. The worst trash on the planet.

  56. wfwfwf October 26, 2013 at 1:04 am

    \”and a cultural myth from the local people should not be a objective criteria…\”

    you mean like the bible, and how doesn\’t set any precedences.

  57. eshaines October 18, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    What was the point of killing the animal in the first place? For sport? I thought a sport was a game that BOTH SIDES know they’re playing. What heartless low-lives, and heartless too are the millions more who practice any form of game hunting, especially of such delicate and innocent creatures.

  58. Mrjazzitup October 17, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    I realize these hunters probably shot the moose for its rarity since it is an albino but it is irrelevant that the aboriginal people think it possesses spirits and has some sort of objective importance other than its white color. A white moose is no different than a brown or black moose, it just has a genetic variation which makes the hair have a different color or its skin pigments absorb different frequency of the light.

    Stop confusing a rare type of animal with ones that are endangered (bald eagles) or those that do not exist(unicorns). These guys just shot the animal for its cache value and whether they knew what they were doing is irrelevant. They were acting legally and a cultural myth from the local people should not be a objective criteria whether to hunt this specific type of animal or not.

    And seriously, you want these guys to fend themselves off against wolves in order to what, to satisfy your appetite for torture and killing? Why, so your psychopathic yearnings can be fulfilled? To the other commentator, whether you are killing for sport or for food or how you get your meat is completely irrelevant to this article and the discussion ensuing; these are all separate issues which you have completely mixed together.

    All I find in these comments sections are a mish mash of non-sequiturs and appeal to emotion.

  59. Alan Serpa October 16, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    These hunters are not good men at all they are heartless and ignorant people who need to disappear off the face of this planet. There is not need to do this anymore and how would they like to be hunted. This is just a shame.

  60. Agris Godins October 16, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Scumbags!!!!!

  61. Mary Harless-Baker October 16, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    A true hunter realizes that a white animal should not be killed by the very fact the animal is white! How difficult is it to shoot an animal that cannot camouflage themselves to their natural environment? Shame on these men!

  62. stringrrl October 16, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    If they were “visiting hunters,” did they not require a permit to hunt on those lands? if so, shouldn’t the agency that issues those permits educate the hunters they issue permits to? So sad, and so senseless. I do not fault the hunters, per se. But I do believe the hunters should be educated about these things, somehow. I mean, EVERYONE knows it is ILLEGAL to kill a Bald Eagle in the US.

  63. Cindy Tozier October 16, 2013 at 11:28 am

    How very sad for all involved, the hunters should have had been given some instruction about the area and the animals that are considered sacred to the indigenous people.

  64. Alexandru Gheorghe October 16, 2013 at 11:05 am

    morons…that should be left alone with a pack o woulfs…I\\\’d like some photos of that please.

  65. Cathy Dain October 16, 2013 at 10:26 am

    ugh. this just leaves me feeling ill. i’m saddened by any hunting for sport. i’m not sure how anyone could kill a living thing if it isn’t for food (and even that.. i prefer it to be a traditional or necessary reason). probably these are good men who were raised with hunting, and they had remorse and respect for the Mi’kmaq people. still, i’m sad. i’m glad the men did the right thing after, and attempted to make amends.

  • Read Inhabitat

  • Search Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Browse by Keyword

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home