Dozens of bear paws found 1 year ago belonged to taxidermy business, says B.C. COS

A photo showing scores of bear paws that were found by a family on a weekend hike in B.C.’s Shuswap region one year ago. The COS says the person responsible was cooperative and made a substantial donation that was much greater than the $115 fine for littering. B.C. Conservation Officer Service

An investigation into dozens of bear paws that were found in B.C.’s Southern Interior one year ago has concluded.

And, according to the province’s Conservation Officer Service (COS), the bear paws were owned by a taxidermy business.

The dumpsite of bear paws, located in the Shuswap, near Anglemont, was discovered by a family out for a weekend hike in May 2021.

“The investigation has determined the person responsible was in lawful possession of the wildlife parts as a result of their taxidermy business,” the COS said on its Facebook page.

“The waste was unlawfully dumped after it inadvertently fell out of the back of the individual’s truck while travelling.”

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The COS continued, saying, “the person responsible has been cooperative in the investigation and the resolution by making a substantial voluntary donation to the Little Shuswap Lake Band’s Watershed Stewardship Guardian Program; the territory where the incident occurred.”

According to the COS, the donation was in lieu of a $115 littering charge under the Environmental Management Act, “and far exceeds the fine amount.”

Click to play video: 'B.C. family finds dozens of severed bear paws in North Shuswap area'
B.C. family finds dozens of severed bear paws in North Shuswap area

The COS also emphasized that the bear paws aren’t linked to an illegal black market operation in the trafficking of bear or other wildlife parts.

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“We understand the public is passionate about wildlife and recognize this scene was alarming and concerning to many Indigenous communities, British Columbians and others,” said COS Acting Chief Cam Schley.

“We hope the conclusion of this investigation, which confirms this was not related to poaching, helps alleviate distress and bring closure to the public.”

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Click to play video: 'Conservation officers remind public to leave fawns alone'
Conservation officers remind public to leave fawns alone

The COS says hunters and those in taxidermy and related industries are required to dispose of wildlife remains in a lawful and ethical manner.

“This is to avoid alarming passersby, as well as attracting dangerous wildlife to an area frequented by people, which can create a public safety risk,” said the COS.

“Unfortunately, every year the COS receives reports of wildlife parts being disposed of in undesirable locations.”

It added that violations can be reported to the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) hotline at 1-877-952-7277.

Click to play video: 'B.C. Conservation Officer Service left scratching head after odd calls in 2021'
B.C. Conservation Officer Service left scratching head after odd calls in 2021



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