A headless bear was recently spotted by someone walking on a popular trail on Vancouver Island in the Qualicum Bay area.
Lucas Hepting posted an image of the bear to his Facebook account in the morning on Friday, October 26, stating that he photographed the poached animal right by his house.
Conservation officers first received a call about the bruin on Thursday, October 25. The trail is located along a power line that cuts down Vancouver Island, and the bear was left in the Corcan Meadowood neighbourhood.
The officer that was called to investigate the incident, Officer Riddell, discovered that someone had removed the bear’s paws, as well as its skull. In addition, the person had skinned the bear’s face, and left the remains at the scene.
Vancouver Is Awesome spoke to Stuart Bates, acting Sgt. for the Central Island Zone in Nanaimo, who explained that it is legal to hunt black bears on Vancouver Island right now. However, leaving behind their meat, is not.
“What we did ascertain is that someone shot the bear somewhere else and dumped its body there,” explains Sgt. Bates.
Evidently, whoever killed the bear left its remains intentionally. Doing so is illegal, and Sgt. Bates stated that the fine for intentionally leaving an animal’s meat is $345. Not only is doing this unsightly, but it is extremely dangerous.
“The carcass will attract larger bears to the area, and this is a popular walking trail,” he explained. “Larger bears kill and eat smaller ones.”
While it is legal to hunt black bears between September 10 and December 10, you have to take all “edible portions.”
Moreover, you must obtain a Species License in order to go hunting. Once you kill a bear, however, you must cancel the license, and add the date and location of the kill.
In order to determine who did this, conservation officers need to be able to match the bear’s DNA.
If you witnessed this incident or have any information about the animal in question, you may contact the conservation officer 24-hour hotline to report a violation at the Report All Poachers and Polluters Line (R.A.P.P) at 1-877-952-7277 or #7277 on the TELUS Mobility Network.