Trial starts for man charged with 'unlawfully' killing polar bear
A man is alleged to have hunted a polar bear inside a management zone without proper tags
A man facing charges for allegedly hunting a polar bear in the Beaufort Delta region without tags is on trial Wednesday morning in Inuvik.
Justin Noah Elias, 30, pleaded not guilty to two charges under the Wildlife Act in February.
Renewable resource officer Tobias Joel Halle of Inuvik believes that Elias hunted a polar bear sometime between Aug. 29 and Sept. 6 last year on or near Garry Island, N.W.T., court documents show.
The charge wasn't laid until Jan. 2, this year.
Garry Island is near the Kendall Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary in the outer Mackenzie Delta. It is a polar bear denning area.
Elias is alleged to have hunted the animal within the Southern Beaufort Sea Polar Bear Management Area without a tag, contrary to regulations of the Inuvik Hunters and Trappers Committee. He faces a second charge for allegedly possessing an "unlawfully harvested" polar bear in violation of the Wildlife Act.
Under the regulations, if a person kills a polar bear to prevent starvation, preserve their life or protect property, they must give the hide to an officer, who will then investigate.
The trial starts at 9:30 Wednesday morning.