The shooting of a rare white moose near Timmins, Ont., last October was lawful, according to Ontario’s natural resources ministry.
No charges will be laid after conservation officers found no wrongdoing by a hunter, despite public outcry last fall.
In an email to the Timmins Daily Press, ministry spokesperson Jolanta Kowalski said the harvest of the white moose was deemed lawful.
“It was determined that this moose was harvested lawfully by an individual exercising their harvesting rights,” Kowalski said. “The local Indigenous chief is aware this case is now closed.”
The rare moose had a white coat thanks to a recessive gene. Such an animal is often touted as a “spirit moose” in some Indigenous traditions, signifying the return of an ancestor with knowledge to offer.
While the killing of the white moose brought sadness to Troy Woodhouse, a member of the Flying Post First Nation, news of the investigation results brings closure to the matter.
“It’s unfortunate one of those animals were harvested, but I’m sure whoever did it had their reasons,” said Woodhouse. “I just hope the story can bring more awareness of how lucky we are to have those animals in our area.
“There’s lots of potential, the economic value of them, heritage value to the First Nations,” he added. “It’ll be nice to see them thrive, hopefully, and not be harvested in the area.”
Woodhouse had set up a GoFundMe page to help preserve and protect white moose. The goal is to raise $6,000 to erect four signs along two highways to highlight it’s illegal to hunt white moose in the designated management areas.