THE Ministry of the Environment was alerted May 24 to a dead bear with its paws cut off found by Lakelse Lake is raising concerns about poaching and improper disposal of a carcass.
The bear, found behind the firehall off Highway 37 South, was a 2-3 year old sub-adult, according to local conservation officer Gareth Scrivener, which made it an unlikely target for a trophy paw kill.
“This wasn’t poached for the paws itself based on my experience,” Scrivener said, “it was probably a problem bear out at the lake and somebody probably took the situation into their own hands to shoot it and then I think they just didn’t want to drive so far with it and dumped it right there by the highway behind the firehall.”
Who removed the paws and why remains a mystery. According to Scrivener the paws would have been too small to be considered trophies.
“It’s unusual that somebody would take the paws off of it…. it was two or three year old cub so it wouldn’t make a trophy,” Scrivener said.
While finding dead adolescent bears shot because they were a nuisance isn’t too unusual, coming across one without paws is.
Paws or no paws, leaving a dead bear near a populated area is dangerous because it can attract other ones and it is illegal.
The fine could include a penalty for disposing of an animal in an inappropriate location as well as hunting during closed season, though fines are given on a case by case basis.
Conservation officers picked up the bear and brought it to the landfill.