10/18/2013 05:08 EDT

Sacred White Moose Killed By Hunters Honoured At Mi'kmaq Ceremony

Facebook/Hnatiuk's Hunting & Fishing Ltd.

The sacred white moose killed by hunters earlier this month has been honoured at a Mi'kmaq ceremony aimed at dissipating the bad luck generated by the animal's killing.

Nova Scotia's Mi'kmaq community gathered around a fire at McDonald Beach in Shearwater Thursday night to smoke a pipe and give the moose's spirit a proper sendoff, the Chronicle-Herald reports.

Joining them were the hunters, who said they had no idea the albino moose was sacred, hunter Mark Drysdale told CBC.

A photo the men posted to a local game shop's Facebook page showing them posing with the animal's carcass after they shot it generated a lot of anger among the Mi'kmaq, who consider it a "spirit animal".

The hide will be sent to a tannery to be turned into leather and dedicated to an influential elder and residential school activist who died in 2006.

It isn't illegal to hunt white moose, but Mi'kmaq Chief Bob Gloade told the Chronicle-Herald Nova Scotia chiefs have passed a motion to ask the province for a law to protect them.

Photo gallery Albino Moose Shooting Sparks Outrage See Gallery

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