- Police decided to cull a rare albino elk in Sweden.
- A woman fell and was injured after the elk approached her while she was walking her dogs.
- The decision to kill the elk was later revoked after tens of thousands of people signed a petition to save the animal.
- The albino elk is one of just 100 others in Sweden.
Earlier this year, a rare albino elk was spotted in the forests of Värmland in Sweden.
The astonishing animal instantly became a worldwide viral hit after Hans Nilsson, a local politician, caught it on film.
Police in Värmland, the Swedish region where the stately elk roams, decided to cull the animal in a decision that outraged animal rights campaigners.
The decision was made after the elk approached a woman out walking her two dogs. She fell and was injured. Her dogs were also scared by the animal. There are also reports that some people in the area are afraid to go outside because of the animal.
However, tens of thousands of Swedes rallied to save the rare animal.
Just five hours after launch on Monday, more than 20,000 people had signed an online petition by Sweden’s largest animal rights organization, Djurens rätt.
“It is the fastest-growing petition we have ever had,” a spokesperson for the organization, which has more than 40,000 members, told The Local on Tuesday.
On Tuesday afternoon, police revoked their decision to cull the rare animal, according to The Local.
“Since November 6th there have been no reports about the elk acting in an aggressive way, which is why the decision about aprotective hunt no longer applies,” said Värmland police in a statement.
In Sweden, the white elk population is estimated to consist of about 100 animals. The total Swedish elk population is estimated at 300,000 to 400,000.