The Ministry of Natural Resources is investigating after a Kenora man discovered the carcass of a dead bear that appeared to have its head and paws cut off.
Ron Berezowski spotted the animal off the side of Highway 71 Thursday, while driving near Nestor Falls.
When he stopped to take a closer look, he saw that the carcass was intact, but the bear's head and all four paws were missing. Berezowski said it looked it to him as if the head and paws may have been chopped off.
"There [was] no blood or bones around. No scavengers around. No eagles, no crows, nothing around this body of the bear," he said, estimating the bear likely weighed up to 200 pounds.
Berezowski called the MNR tip line as soon as he had cell phone coverage and spoke to an enforcement officer at the ministry's Fort Frances office.
"If the animal was killed just to harvest those appendages, it's just not right," he said.
"It just seems not right that they just left the carcass there. It's disturbing on many levels. It's like shooting a deer and leaving the antlers and leaving good meat there."
Berezowski said he’s heard of black bears being harvested just for their gall bladders … "so when I saw this I thought, ‘ok, is this the work of people … if this bear was taken just for those parts, maybe the MNR could prevent this from happening in the future or find out who did this’."
He noted that not seeing see any scavengers was unusual.
"[The carcass was] about 30 or 40 feet off the road in a depression. I couldn't see any marks," Berezowski said.
"I'm pretty sure there are no blood spatters on the highway, and no blood on the grass nearby. It could have been dumped there."