British Columbia

Mutilated black bears discovered in B.C.

Two mutilated black bear carcasses have been found in B.C., both believed to be the target of poachers.

Paws and internal organs missing from both animals

The carcass of a black bear found mutilated in a rural area near Pitt Meadows B.C., one of two to be found in a 24 hour period on Nov. 14 and 15. (CBC)

Two mutilated black bear carcasses have been found in B.C., both believed to be the target of poachers.

Melissa Hafting was returning from bird watching in Pitt Meadows, B.C. on Saturday when she saw one young black bear along Thompson Rd. near Pitt Lake behind the Golden Eagles Golf course that had been mutilated.

"It was really horrific," said Hafting, a 31-year-old nature lover from Richmond. "It was just dumped on the side of the road. It was freshly killed."

Hafting said it appears the 73 kilogram bear had its paws and internal organs removed, a sign the animal may have been killed by poachers looking to sell its parts.

Melissa Hafting discovered the mutilated black bear in Pitt Meadows while out bird watching. (CBC)

"I felt really traumatized and really, really sad. It was not given the chance at life," added Hafting who called B.C.'s Conservation Officer Service to report the bear.

By Sunday, according to Hafting and Ryan Lipscombe, a local man who also came across the bear, the animal's carcass was still visible but had been moved from its original location to a creek — most likely by scavenging animals.

"It gives hunters a bad name," said Lipscombe who added he doesn't agree with the animals being harvested just for certain parts.

"It's good for food if you have the tags, but poaching is not right," he said.

Ryan Lipscombe also came across the carcass of a mutilated black bear near Pitt Meadows which he described as gross. (CBC)

The mutilated bear is the second found in southwestern B.C. in 24 hours.

Another bear was discovered washed-up on a beach west of Victoria with its paws and internal organs missing.

"It's really a troubling situation and it's something that we really need to face here in British Columbia," said Chris Genovali with Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

The hunting of black bears is allowed in BC within certain periods, but it is illegal in B.C. to trade or sell bear parts, which carry fines of up to $250,000 and six months in jail.

with files from the CBC's Yvette Brend and Eric Rankin


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