The white elk's right antler was hanging loose from its wound. Photo: Espen Fjeldbu
Espen Fjeldbu, from Tobol near the border with Sweden, was out hunting when he spotted a white animal through the bushes.
“It's head was white, and some of the rest of the fur was greyish,” the vet The Local.
As Fjeldbu’s permit did not allow him to shoot the elk, he decided to just watch in silence.
“At the start I saw that it was probably over two and a half years old, and I didn’t have any thoughts about shooting it, because we were supposed to have a younger bull,” he said.
“I just set the rifle aside, and I thought I could have a nice, relaxing moment.”
But as the rare animal came closer, he realized that it was hurt.
“I saw the horn was hanging low on the right side, and when I got out the binoculars, I saw the wound.”
Fjeldbu watched the animal for 20 minutes before taking the decision to shoot.
“I thought that he was going to have an infection in the wound and would probably suffer for a long time if we didn’t do anything,” he said. “You have an obligation as a hunter, if you come across animals that are hurt, you should see if it’s necessary to take them out. That’s how it is.”
Four years ago there was an outcry in Norway after a Danish hunter called Ole Frost shot and killed Albin, an albino elk.
But Fjeldbu stressed that the elk he had shot had not been a true albino, as it had grey fur over much of its body and did not have pink eyes.