Mutilated animal parts found in B.C. park
Published Thursday, September 9, 2010 6:22PM PDT
A disturbing collection of discarded animal parts has been found in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on the west coast of Vancouver Island near Tofino.
Park wardens found 35 kilograms of bear and deer meat, marine and freshwater fish, shellfish, and the hide and paws of a black bear on the Grice Bay access road on Monday.
Park Superintendent Dave McVetty told ctvbc.ca that the discovery is extremely unusual. He said it's unclear whether the parts were taken from the park or brought in from elsewhere.
"The road it was found on has a dock at the end which is used by a lot of people who are fishing in the area. It could have come in on a boat and then disposed of," he said.
If the animals were caught on the reserve it could be a violation of the Canada National Parks Act.
"Generally there's no hunting allowed in a national park. There are rights for traditional gathering for the First Nations in the area. But at this point we have no idea from where this came or why someone would have left it," McVetty said.
McVetty is unsure how long the animal parts were left on the side of the road but he said the meat did not appear to be rotting.
The demand for bear parts such as gallbladders, hides and paws, used in traditional Chinese medicine, has fueled an international bear trade industry.
The RCMP, Parks Canada and federal wildlife officials are investigating the incident and urge the public to come forward if they have any information.