TIMMINS -- The reward is climbing for information on whoever illegally shot and killed a rare white moose in the Foleyet area near Timmins last month. It now stands at $8,000.

The reward was launched by Troy Woodhouse of Flying Post First Nation, an Aboriginal group connected to an area of land located between Timmins and Foleyet. They consider white moose or 'spirit moose' a sacred animal.

In an online interview with CTV News, Woodhouse described how special it was to see a white moose as a child, and then later as an adult with his wife while boating on the Groundhog River.

He now lives in Thompson, Man., but felt it was important to raise awareness about his people and their land.

"The spirit moose has and always will be sacred and respected in our family and our community," Woodhouse said. "We coexisted with the spirit moose on our traditional territory. Our ancestors and elders have told us stories our entire lives about the majestic creature and how lucky we are to have them in our area."

The province banned hunting the animal in the Timmins and Foleyet areas, and when one was shot in October, it sparked a public outcry. 

No tips yet

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry said Friday it has received no tips in the case.

"Our investigation continues into identifying the individual(s) responsible," wrote Maimoona Dinani, acting media relations officer for the Ministry of Natural Resource and Forestry, in an email to CTV News.

Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,000 cash reward for tips leading to the conviction of the person responsible for shooting of the white cow moose, and a brown cow moose. Both were discovered in a forestry cut near Foleyet. The head of the white moose was left behind.

Woodhouse is upping the ante with a $1,000 in additional reward money.

"I thought ... putting up a reward to maybe help bring attention to the story would be a way I could personally do something and it seems to be working," he said. "We've generated great response and people genuinely seem to care about the spirit moose."

That promoted Rene Turgeon of Missinaibi Drilling Services to pitch in.

"To see someone like Troy step up and do it by himself and as being a business owner and being Aboriginal and working in the area, I figured it was just the right thing to do and hopefully that will help catch whoever did it," Turgeon said.

Turgeon has also donated $1,000 and so far, bringing the total to $8,000. The Gray Animal Welfare Foundation from Richmond Hill has also contributed $5,000