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Police investigate suspicious piles of food being left out in northwest Calgary

Police investigate suspicious piles of food being left out in northwest Calgary.
Police investigate suspicious piles of food being left out in northwest Calgary. Michael King / Global Calgary

Editor’s note: On Jan. 30, 2020, Calgary police said they have identified the person believed to be responsible for leaving the food piles in parks. It’s believed the person is suffering from mental health and, after consultation with the Crown, police said no charges will be laid. Police said with the help of Alberta Health Services, the person will be connected with the proper mental health supports.

Police are investigating after several suspicious piles of food were found near a park in northwest Calgary.

Calgary’s HAZMAT team responded to Evanspark Way on both Thursday and Friday to reports of piles of cereal and grain being hidden in the trees.

Some people in the communities of Evanston and nearby Sage Hill have raised concerns on social media that they’ve noticed a rise in the number of dead animals in the area.

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Sarah Halprin said several people believe someone is poisoning rabbits on purpose.

“A whole bunch of people, probably upwards of 30, have commented,” Halprin said. “They’re seeing dead rabbits and birds all over the place. [The rabbits] are not being hit by cars, they’re just on their side.

“Our kids are finding them.”

Officials said Thursday’s sample came back positive for lubricant and hydrogen peroxide. Friday’s sample was too diluted by recent rain to return any conclusive results.

Calgary police said they have not tested the samples for a poison because they do not have a suspect.

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Halprin said she’s been given the runaround from several Calgary officials when she tried raising her concerns with Calgary Bylaw and Fish and Wildlife.

She said she hopes police take the case seriously.

“I don’t think [police are] going to do anything until people start reporting it,” Halprin said. “Then they can see how widespread it is.”

According to Calgary Bylaw, feeding wildlife can result in a $200 fine.

Anyone charged with placing poison “in such a position that it may easily be consumed by dogs, birds or animals that… are kept for a lawful purpose,” can be handed a fine of $10,000 or five years in prison.