Advertisement

California bighorn sheep illegally shot and killed near Kelowna

Conservation officers are investigating after a bighorn sheep was illegally killed northwest of Kelowna.
Conservation officers are investigating after a bighorn sheep was illegally killed northwest of Kelowna. Courtesy: B.C. Conservation Officer Service

Conservation officers are investigating after a California bighorn sheep was illegally shot and killed in the Okanagan.

The ram was found northwest of Kelowna along Westside Road in the Shelter Cove area on Friday.

A motorist spotted the injured animal next to the road around 5 p.m. and called conservation officers, according to a news release.

READ MORE: Elk poaching on Vancouver Island hurting long-term survival of herds

The herd that lives near Westside Road consists of approximately 75 animals, according to the B.C. Conservation Officer Service.

“The population has been supplemented with additional animals via translocations on several occasions to help maintain viable numbers,” conservation officer Ken Owens said in a news release. “No licensed harvest of bighorn sheep occurs in this area.”

READ MORE: Hundreds of poaching charges laid after Alberta animals left to rot

Story continues below advertisement

Owens said bighorn sheep are considered a “blue list” species in B.C., which means that they are a species of concern because of limited habitat options that keep their population low.

READ MORE: B.C. takes ‘unprecedented steps’ in response to coronavirus pandemic

“Illegal kills of sheep have serious consequences for legal harvest, game viewing, and genetic quality of herds in the area,” he said.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact conservation officers at 1-877-952-7277.