An environmental group is calling for serious consequences for the hunter who shot and killed a caribou near Marathon on Thanksgiving weekend.

The Wildlands League said the person should be charged under the Endangered Species Act. Fines under that act can be up to 10 times higher than a typical hunting violation.

Anna Baggio, a spokesperson with the group, which is a chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, said the animals are on the verge of extinction in Ontario.

"It’s a little surprising to me that someone would shoot and kill a caribou," she said.

It's surprising to the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters too.

'A very rare occurrence'

Lezlie Goodwin, manager of communications with the organization, said about 10,000 hunters are out harvesting moose or deer in Ontario right now, without incident.

"[It’s] very unfortunate, whenever an animal is harvested unintentionally," she said.

"But thankfully, given hunter education and diligence on the part of most hunters, [it’s] a very rare occurrence."

Baggio said this case is an opportunity to further educate hunters.

"If we can encourage [hunters], especially newer hunters or less experienced hunters, to go out and learn the species that they would like to hunt … things like this [may not] happen in the future."

The Ministry of Natural resources said it's still investigating the incident.