A group of Norwegian hunters reportedly shot and killed two moose before realizing that they were zoo animals.
The hunting party killed two of five moose protected by Polar Park, according to the Norwegian news site The Local. The park, located in the northern Norwegian town of Narvik, contains a zoo where the animals are fenced in but are also allowed to roam in the natural space.
The hunters reported the incident themselves, and they claimed their hunting dogs unknowingly trespassed into the zoo's moose habitat. They then shot through the fence at the moose before realizing that they were shooting into a zoo.
The park plans to request compensation from the hunting party.
"This is a regrettable mistake made in connection with lawful hunting on the outside of the park," Arne Nysted, Chairman of Troms County wildlife tribunal, told The Local.
"It was a fatal error, but everyone understands that it was not done at all on purpose," he added.
Animal rights organizations such as PETA have denounced sport hunting.
"Natural predators help maintain this balance by killing only the sickest and weakest individuals," PETA wrote in an article entitled "Why Sport Hunting Is Cruel And Unnecessary," which is displayed on its website.
"Hunters, however, kill any animal whose head they would like to hang over the fireplace — including large, healthy animals who are needed to keep the population strong," PETA added.
Nearly 36 million hunting credentials were issued in 2015, according to the Hunting License Report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.