A dumpsite of severed bear paws discovered on the weekend has left the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs “appalled and horrified.”
Found by a B.C. family while out for a hike on Sunday, the dumpsite near Shuswap Lake contained around 80 to 100 bear paws — 20 to 25 bears in total, according to the union.
“The carnage left behind indicates the actions of trophy or commercial poachers who hold a complete lack of respect for wildlife, hunting laws, and the rights of other resource users,” the UBCIC said in a statement on Wednesday.
“UBCIC has previously expressed alarm at ‘wolf-whacking’ and ‘predator tournaments’ occurring in the province that allow the gratuitous and ruthless slaughter of wildlife.
“The dozens of discarded bear paws demonstrate that this callous attitude towards the killing of animals persists. Trophy hunting or poaching goes against Indigenous hunting practices, and UBCIC urges hunters to hunt, fish, and trap sustainably and ethically — never for unwarranted bloodshed and the glorification of violence.”
The union says mismanagement of B.C. wildlife, including illegal poaching, is unacceptable and goes against the traditions and values of B.C. First Nations.
The B.C. Conservation Officer Service is requesting public assistance in identifying who dumped the animal parts in the Anglemont Mountain area.
If you have any information regarding this, you are asked to contact the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) hotline at 1-877-952-7277.
In related news, the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council says it will hold a ceremony to honour the bears.
“Our traditional stories teach us that the bear is a sacred animal forming the foundation of our creation law, the chief of the four-legged and deserves the utmost respect and dignity,” said Kukpi7 (Shuswap tribal chair) Wayne Christian.
“Man of our oral histories give us insight into the pivotal role that bear plays on our lands in the animal world and as part of our family.
“This act of desecration has not gone unnoticed by our Nation’s communities and can be felt through the spirits of our people. As caretakers of the land, we condemn the dishonour of our sacred animal integral to our health and well-being.”