Three hunters who killed a rare albino moose in Nova Scotia are apologizing, saying they didn’t realize it was a sacred symbol to the Mi’kmaq people.

Facebook

The white moose was shot last week in the Cape Breton Highlands and photos that surfaced on social media have sparked an outcry among the aboriginal community.

Facebook

In an interview with the CBC, Mi'kmaq hunter Danny Paul said native peoples have known about the ‘Spirit Moose’ for hundreds of years, but refrained from harming them in any way because they consider all white animals to be sacred.

Facebook

Jim Hnatiuks, who owns a hunting and taxidermy store in Lantz, Nova Scotia told the CTV that the hunters brought the moose to his store for mounting following their hunting trip in Cape Breton. Hnatiuks said the hunters weren’t aware of the implications of killing the rare moose.

Facebook

The hunters are reportedly making efforts to right the wrong and have agreed to hand over the hide for a traditional Mi’kmaq ceremony.