A pair of Norwegian hunters just out for a day of legal hunting and maybe some juicy elk steaks later were sorely disappointed and extremely embarrassed this week when they realized they had accidentally been hunting animals in their local zoo.
Shooting elk in a zoo is only marginally more difficult than shooting fish in a barrel, but according to The Local, two hunters had shot and killed two huge elk before realizing that their dinner was actually the property of the Polar Park Zoo in Navrik, a town in the north of Norway.
The hunters tried to blame the accident on their dogs, saying that they were following their elk hounds, who had somehow managed to squeeze into the zoo’s elk enclosure. The hunters shot the designated targets, and only after killing two of them did they realize that they were shooting through the fence of the zoo.
Chagrined, the hunters called the zoo to confess their accident.
“I reacted with disbelief, and the first few seconds afterwards were pretty unreal,” said Heinz Strathmann, the chief executive of the zoo. “I think this is very sad, and it’s not OK. We had five elks, now we have only three.”
The hunters are not likely to face charges, though the zoo says it does want compensation for the deceased elk. It is unlikely that the hunters will get their elk steaks after all, but if they do, they might want to check out some of our best elk recipes for some ideas of what to do with them. And next time maybe they should bring a map.