NORTHERN ONTARIO-NEWS AND VIEWS: Among the indigenous people of the region, white animals like ravens, moose and grizzly bears are considered sacred and they should not be harmed. They are considered to be spirit animals. This is why the killing and dismembering of a rare white “spirit” moose in Canada has shocked residents of this northern Ontario community.
Chief Murray Ray of nearby Flying Post First Nation said that if a person had a licence to shoot a female moose they should choose a brown rather than a white one. A community member of Flying Post, Troy Woodhouse was the first, as I understand it, to offer a reward to apprehend the perpetrators. He offered C$1000 (US$760) which was matched by a local drilling company and an animal welfare group has also offered C$5000. The total now stands at C$8000.
It is reported that poachers killed two female moose including the white cow mentioned. The remains, including their heads, were left along a remote service road. People can’t understand why they’ve done this.
“It saddens me that somebody should take such a beautiful animal”, said Troy Woodhouse.
White moose are rare animals and the white coat is due to a recessive gene. They are not albinos.
Comment: I have a criticism. What the community is saying is that you can shoot brown moose but not white moose. So when an animal is rare and looks interesting or attractive you can’t kill it but when it is less attractive you can kill it. That sounds incredibly flippant, frivolous and mindless to me. They are both sentient beings with the same value philosophically speaking. I don’t think you can decide whether an animal lives or dies on their appearance but clearly you can when the appearance is linked to historical superstition. I know that that is a harsh word but ultimately the idea of animal spirits comes down to superstition. Although I totally respect the views of people who believe in spirit animals. At least the indigenous people respect the animals whereas these poachers simply appear to have had fun in killing them.
What’s at the heart of the problem is sport hunting. This is allowed in Canada. Canada is known for its sport hunting and trophy hunting. They like to shoot animals for pleasure. If you introduce that sort of concept into society you’re bound to get this sort of problem. It’s simply an extension of it. And shooters always love to shoot the rarest of animals because it gives them more pleasure. It’s human nature. Don’t be surprised that this has happened.