Helicopter seized from Hydro property after illegal hunting complaint

The provincial government has confirmed that a tip from the public about an illegal big game hunt has led to the seizure of a helicopter and a loaded firearm, from a Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro facility near Bishop's Falls.

Hydro staff not under investigation, says Wildlife department

Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro says the aircraft seized belongs to Canadian Helicopters Limited. (CBC/file photo)

The provincial government has confirmed that a tip from the public about an illegal big game hunt using an aircraft has led to the seizure of a helicopter from a Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro facility near Bishop's Falls.

An email from the department of Justice and Public Safety Tuesday said that fish and wildlife enforcement officers searched the site on Sunday.

A helicopter was seized, and released the following day, once evidence was collected.

The email said other items, including a loaded firearm, were also seized as part of the search.

The investigation is continuing, but according to the email, is not directed at Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro or any of its staff.

A spokesperson for NL Hydro said the chopper belongs to Canadian Helicopters Limited.

Hydro said it has contracted the company for work in the past, but said the aircraft was not doing work for Hydro during the incident that is now under investigation.

In a statement late Tuesday, Canadian Helicopters said it was "co-operating fully" with authorities. 

"We were informed that one of our pilots is under investigation for the use of a helicopter for a possible illegal hunting activity," an official told CBC News. 

"We cannot comment further since there is an ongoing investigation but can confirm that Canadian Helicopters and Newfoundland Hydro are not the subject of this investigation."

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