Friday 30 September 2016

Hunters shot dead two elks before realising they were firing into zoo

David Kearns

Published 19/10/2015 | 15:23

Elks, or Mooses as they are known in the US, are not an endangered species Credit: Getty Images
Elks, or Mooses as they are known in the US, are not an endangered species Credit: Getty Images

A group of hunters shot dead two elk before realising they were firing through a fence into a zoo.

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The bizarre incident happen in Norway, and the hunters immediately contacted the Polar Park zoo, situated in Norway's far north, near the town of Narvik, to report their mistake.

According to The Local news website, the men were using a pack of dogs to hunt the elk when they stumbled into the park enclosure where the animals lived.

After opening fire and downing two of the animals, the group realised they were shooting through a steel fence.

“I reacted with disbelief, and the first few seconds afterwards were pretty unreal,” Heinz Strathmann, the chief executive of Polar Park zoo.

I think this is very sad, and it’s not OK. We had five elks, now we have only three.”

Arne Nysted, who chairs the wildlife tribunal in Troms County, said there was no need to punish the men, as they had made an honest mistake.

"This is a regrettable mistake made in connection with lawful hunting on the outside of the park," he said.

"It was a fatal error, but everyone understands that it was not done at all on purpose."

The Polar Park covers an area of more than 570 km sq and while it has enclosures its website says the animals are kept "in their natural surroundings".

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