May 18, 2017 5:03 pm
Updated: May 18, 2017 5:15 pm

Ontario Provincial Police investigating after muskrat found injured in diaper box dies

An Ontario wildlife rescue centre that collected donations for an extensively injured muskrat says the animal has died.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Facebook-Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue
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GORES LANDING, Ont. – The case of a muskrat found badly injured in a diaper box has triggered an investigation by Ontario’s provincial police.

Investigators say they’ve determined the now-deceased muskrat was left in a Huggies box on the shore of Rice Lake at Gores Landing, Ont., about 40 kilometres south of Peterborough, Ont., on Monday evening.

They say a witness told them a mid-sized, four-door blue sedan drove into a boat launch area with three occupants — two females and a male driver — who all appeared to be 16 to 18 years old.

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Police say one of the female passengers allegedly placed the box near the water’s edge before the vehicle drove away. They say the witness investigated and found the injured muskrat.

The animal was taken to Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue centre in Bowmanville, Ont., where staff named it George, and then taken to a veterinarian on Tuesday for treatment of cuts to its mouth, broken teeth and an eye injury. The muskrat died a short time later.

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Investigators are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the three people in the car.

Stefanie MacEwan, the founder of the rescue centre, had started a GoFundMe page to pay for George’s vet bills, but said Wednesday that some of the money raised — nearly $3,400 — would now go to pay for a detailed autopsy on the rodent.

George’s remains were to be sent to the Ontario Veterinary College located in Guelph, Ont., for the autopsy, MacEwan said.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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