Investigation into bear trafficking leads to wildlife convictions in Ontario and Saskatchewan

Randall Wehrkamp was fined $36,500 for illegal wildlife trafficking after buying and selling antlers in Saskatchewan without a permit. Feb 10. Saskatchewan Environment Ministry / Supplied

TORONTO – The provinces of Ontario and Saskatchewan say a two-and-a-half-year probe into illegal wildlife trafficking has led to convictions against five people.

Court found they were buying and selling the gallbladders and paws of black bears, which is illegal in Ontario.

The provinces say the Saskatchewan Special Investigations Unit learned about a Sandy Bay, Sask., restaurant that was allegedly buying black bear parts in early 2017.

READ MORE: Gronlid, Sask. man fined for illegal wildlife trafficking

They say they discovered people from Ontario were involved and contacted the province’s Ministry of Natural Resources.

A Toronto woman was charged and convicted of unlawfully possessing black bear gallbladders and fined about $3,000.

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Four people from Saskatchewan – one from Saskatoon and three from Sandy Bay – were also convicted, facing fines of up to $29,000.

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