A group of hunters in Norway have shot dead two elk - before realising seconds later they were firing through a fence into the animal's enclosure in a zoo.
The hunters called the zoo and reported their mistake, according to a report on The Local news website.
They said the dogs used to hunt elk had found their way into the park enclosure and they had not realised they were firing into the Polar Park zoo, situated in Norway's far north, near the town of Narvik,
Heinz Strathmann, the zoo's chief executive, was quoted as saying he "reacted with disbelief".
"I think this is very sad, and it's not okay. We had five elks, now we have only three," he told The Local.
The most controversial animal kills
The most controversial animal kills
1/5 Walt Palmer (left), from Minnesota, who killed Cecil, the Zimbabwean lion (pictured here with another lion shot in Africa)
Walter James Palmer has been named by Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force as the shooter of Cecil, a 13-year-old prized lion. He is now wanted by Zimbabwe officials on poaching charges. The lion was protected and the subject of a decade long study by the Wildlife Unit of Oxford University in the UK. He was outfitted with a GPS collar and was killed in Hwange National Park. The Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority and the Safari Operators Association said that two men were charged with poaching in connection to Mr Palmer
2/5 Kendall Jones hunting images
Kendall Jones, a 19-year-old Texas Tech university student, has provoked worldwide fury after posting pictures of herself smiling next to animals she hunted, including a lion, rhinoceros, antelope, leopard, elephant, zebra and hippopotamus
3/5 Rebecca Francis hunting images
Rebecca Francis, a huntress who has killed dozens of wild animals has been sent death wishes by furious social media users after a picture showing her lying down next to a dead giraffe was circulated. Rebecca Francis has a website and Facebook page dedicated to the animals she has killed in hunts across Africa and America. Francis, a prolific hunter who has also co-hosted the television show Eye of the Hunter, regularly posts pictures of herself posing next to dead bears, giraffes, buffaloes and zebras, among other animals. She uses a bow and arrow to kill her prey
4/5 The slaughter of Marius, an 18-month-old healthy giraffe in Copenhagen Zoo
Copenhagen Zoo made the controversial decision to euthanise a healthy giraffe named Marius, which was later dissected and fed to lions as visitors watched. The slaughter sparked a furious backlash from social media users and zoo staff have received death threats by phone and email. Soon after the incident, Copenhagen Zoo faced an international outcry once again after four healthy lions were put down
5/5 Swiss Dählhölzli zoo kills healthy brown bear cub
A Switzerland zoo faced heavy criticism from animal rights groups, after keepers put down a healthy brown bear cub to spare it from being bullied by its dominant male father. The 360 kg male bear Misha had already killed one of his 11-week old cubs in public and was bullying the second, staff at the zoo said, because he was jealous of the attention the cubs were receiving from their mother, Masha. Both adult brown bears had been donated to Bern’s Dählhölzli zoo in 2009. Campaigners condemned staff there for not separating the cubs, who are being referred to as Baby Bear Two and Baby Bear Three, and their mother from Misha after their birth in January
Arne Nysted, who chairs the wildlife tribunal in Troms County, said there was no need to punish the men, the site reported.
"This is a regrettable mistake made in connection with lawful hunting on the outside of the park," he said.
"It was a fatal error, but everyone understands that it was not done at all on purpose."
The Polar Park covers an area of more than 570 km sq and while it has enclosures its website says the animals are kept "in their natural surroundings".
Elk, also sometimes referred to as moose, can be found in northern Europe and the northern US. They are not an endangered species.Reuse content