Apparent moose poaching incident in Corner Brook being investigated

Wildlife officers believe a moose was shot Monday on a walking trail in Margaret Bowater Park in Corner Brook.

Moose believed to be injured by gunshot on walking trail near Margaret Bowater park

Wildlife officers investigating a possible poaching incident believe one of the moose spotted on a walking trail in Margaret Bowater Park in Corner Brook had gunshot wounds. (Submitted by Jake Paleczny)

Fish and Wildlife officials are investigating what appears to be moose poaching incident on a community walking trail on Newfoundland's west coast.

Enforcement officers believe that a moose was shot inside of Corner Brook's Margaret Bowater Park on Monday, according to Sheldon Anstey, a superintendent for Fish and Wildlife Enforcement

The enforcement office in Corner Brook got a call on Monday, and officers, as well as the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, later found the area where two moose — one with injuries to the face and neck— had been seen.

Anstey says police were able to track the shot animal for a number of hours, in part by tracing a trail of blood that was being left behind.

"The moose were gone by the time our officers responded to it, but there was a significant amount of blood on the snow in the area, consistent with what we normally see with firearms or gunshot wounds," he told CBC Radio's On The Go.

Sheldon Anstey, the superintendent of the western region for Fish and Wildlife Enforcement, seen in this image from 2006. (CBC)

The enforcement office is investigating the incident, and Anstey says officers are unable to tell whether there was any attempt to actually harvest meat from the animal.

Regardless, he says it would be illegal to hunt on this area of the walking trail at any time of year — and dangerous, considering the proximity to a golf course, the park and a town road.

"A rifle bullet, if it was that, in any given direction in this particular instance, could have serious consequences for sure." 

Anstey says he believes the animal will die.

"The amount of blood that was on the snow would tell me that it's probably not going to survive, but we were unable to find it." 

The investigation is ongoing, and officers are asking anyone with information to contact the Fish and Wildlife Enforcement office or Crime Stoppers.

With files from On The Go