A rare white moose’s life has been saved in Sweden after a decision to allow hunters to kill it was overturned.
The magnificent moose, named Ferdinand, gained worldwide media attention in August after local politician Hans Nilsson captured him swimming on camera in Värmland, western Sweden.
“It was an awesome moment being alone with this incredible animal. Having had that experience, I could not believe that someone would to kill him,” he told The Telegraph.
The elk became a potential target for hunters after police blamed the animal for an attack on a jogger on 6 November.
“The moose has had two turbulent weeks. It started with a young woman who was out jogging with two dogs attached to a leash around her waist,” Mr Nilsson says.
“When they met the moose, the dogs began barking. The moose wanted to defend himself and attacked the dogs. The woman fell to the ground and dislocated her shoulder.”
In response to the incident, police “decided to allow local hunters to shoot the moose, claiming that it was a danger to people,” he explains.
Mr Nilsson started a petition to protect the moose and it gained more than 14,000 signatures in just a few days.
“I was very upset since I knew it is a harmless animal,” he adds. “Luckily, none of the local hunters wanted to kill it.”
The nature photographer said the police reversed their decision due to the backlash: “The moose is no longer considered dangerous to humans. The moose is safe and can continue to live in his habitat in western Värmland.
“Out of 400, 000 moose in Sweden, maybe 100 of them are white,” he adds.
“Most of them live in this area. They are not albino. They have a genetic defect called leucism. They cannot store pigment.
“It is very important that we preserve all the white moose so that they can continue to live in the Swedish forests.”