WARNING: This story contains an image which some people may find disturbing
A black bear killed and dumped in a Tappen gravel pit just off a main road has been concerning passersby and keeping the BC Conservation Officers Service searching for leads since mid April.
Conservation Officer Mike Richardson first got the call about the bear which had been dumped in a pit off Skimikin Lake Road on April 16 or 17. Richardson said the bear had been shot.
A lawful spring hunting season on black bears runs from April 1 to June 30 in the area where the dead bear was found. Richardson said the dead bear was left whole, which is in violation of the law that requires hunters to remove all edible portions of the animal.
Richardson said the other possible explanation for a bear with a bullet in it is that it was shot by someone protecting themselves or their property. He said the COs are still looking for the person responsible if this was the case, because incidents where animals are destroyed for protection must be reported to them.
The story got stranger and the calls to conservation officers continued as April drew to a close. Richardson said they began receiving calls about the bear again when someone dragged it onto a fire pit and burned the weeks-old carcass. One caller was concerned that the animal had been tortured but Richardson said the person or people who killed the bear and those who burned it are almost certainly separate groups.
Richardson said the Conservation Officer Service appreciates when the public reports suspicious dumped animal carcasses. He urged anyone who is disposing of legally killed animals to do so well away from places frequented by the public. Even discarded bones and hides generate concern from the public and calls to the COs. He said discarded wildlife can also draw dangerous animals to populated areas.