A Vancouver-based non-profit is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for a series of illegal snaring incidents in the Kitimat River Valley.
The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals made the offer public Thursday (Feb. 8) afternoon. “These disturbing incidents need to be condemned by all, and our hope is that this reward will help bring more attention to the case,” said spokesperson Adrian Nelson. “Anyone who has information is asked to contact the Conservation Officer Service so that the individual or individuals responsible can be stopped and face the consequences for their actions.”
Earlier this week the Terrace office of the Conservation Officer Service appealed for public assistance in their investigation, noting charges may be applicable under the Provincial Wildlife Act as well as the Canada Criminal Code for cruelty to animals and mischief.
Evidence was found throughout the valley where heavy-gauge wire had been used in attempts to capture large animals.
“So far we have located dead grizzly bears, wolves, and coyotes with evidence that moose are being caught as well. It’s beyond my comprehension why someone would think it is acceptable to indiscriminately snare our wildlife in such a callous calculated manner,” Sgt. Tracy Walbauer had said.
“That the person responsible for this has no regard for wildlife and the snares are poorly designed and illegal — those animals observed in the snares endured a great deal of suffering before death.”
The locations identified so far have been semi-remote but Walbauer was concerned there may be traps closer to human habitation.
In a telephone interview with The Fur-Bearers, Nelson said it’s been about two years since the association has offered a reward in this manner, but the seriousness of these incidents justified the action.
“It’s the waste of wildlife in this case,” he said. “It’s one thing if someone is out subsistence hunting, but in this case it just seems flagrant that someone is putting traps in the bush and not coming back to check them.
“And it’s the range of animals that’s really scary. To be honest it’s one of the worst [cases] that we’ve seen.”
Nelson added The Fur-Bearers have a good-standing relationship with the Terrace COS and is optimistic the reward will prompt public tips to assist in their investigation.
“We don’t see a lot of this stuff, on this scale, in that area,” Nelson said. “For it to show up like this is kind of odd…people live there and move out there for that connection to the wildlife, so this wasting of wildlife I think will irk a lot of people.”
Anyone with information on the snaring activity in Kitimat River Valley is asked to contact the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.
The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals was founded in 1953, according to its website, with a mission to end the commercial fur trade and promote co-existence between humans and wildlife.