The carcass of a young bear was found in West Vancouver early last month.
Now, a non-profit society is offering a reward of $1,000 to help further the investigation.
On July 5, a young bear was found in West Vancouver, just one kilometre off Cypress Bowl Road. Christine Miller, executive director of the North Shore Black Bear Society, says that two hikers noticed the odour several days before finding the carcass.
“It happened before July 1, the actual poaching,” Miller told Daily Hive in an interview. “A couple of hikers were in the area. They smelled something bad so they returned on July 5 and tried to locate where the odour was coming from.”
Miller said that the body of a dead bear was found and that it “had been there for quite a little bit.”
Upon investigation, “it was clear” that the bear had “been sliced open and that the organs from the abdominal cavity had been removed.”
Found alongside the carcass, reportedly, were empty bags of ice and three pairs of disposable gloves.
The Fur-Bearers, a non-profit society dedicated to protecting and promoting co-existence with wildlife, has since offered a $1,000 reward to help find the guilty party involved in the alleged poaching.
Miller also said that poaching bears for their organs and body parts could be a lot more common than British Columbians think, especially on the North Shore.
“The terrain is very suitable for the disposing of carcasses so there would be the possibility that many have died for this reason that we don’t even know about.”
And although Miller has only seen two poached carcasses during her 15 years with the North Shore Black Bear Society, she said she’s “not naive enough to think that they’re the only two.”
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She explained that bears are sometimes poached for their organs, which can reportedly be used for medicinal purposes in different cultures. The paws and head of the bear are also removed at times; although in this case, the paws were intact — it was just the internal organs that had been removed.
“We want the public to be aware that this is something that does go on and if they see anything that’s suspicious, or doesn’t strike them as right, they should report it to the RAPP line,” said Miller.
The BC COS also told Daily Hive that investigating the poached carcass is a difficult task since it’s hard to determine where exactly the bear was killed.
“The bear was found dumped,” said a BC COS spokesperson. “Where he was killed, however, is unknown.”
“Nothing implicates that the bear was shot or poached in West Vancouver. We’ve found bears that are killed and dumped but it’s hard just out of a carcass to find a guilty party.”