CONTENT ADVISORY: THE VIDEO ABOVE CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES
The BC Conservation Officer Service says they have solved the case of a large pile of skinned bear paws found on the side of a dirt road in the Shuswap last year.
The paws were found by a passerby in May 2021, along Forest Road 695, in the Anglemont Mountain area.
Roughly 100 paws, equating to 25 bears, were found. Video posted to social media shocked the public.
On Thursday, the BC Conservation Officer Service said an investigation has found the paws inadvertently fell out of the back of a taxidermist's truck while traveling. The taxidermist was in legal possession of them.
“The person responsible has been cooperative in the investigation and the resolution by making a substantial voluntary donation to the Little Shuswap Lake Band’s Watershed Stewardship Guardian Program; the territory where the incident occurred,” BCCOS said.
The donation was in lieu of a $115 littering charge and “far exceeds” the fine amount. It will help train the Guardian Program “to keep their community safe, and wildlife wild, by reducing bear conflicts in their community through training in bear awareness, public safety and attractant management.”
The BCCOS emphasized that the incident was not linked to an illegal black market operation of any type.
“We understand the public is passionate about wildlife and recognize this scene was alarming and concerning to many Indigenous communities, British Columbians and others,” said acting chief conservation officer Cam Schley.
“We hope the conclusion of this investigation, which confirms this was not related to poaching, helps alleviate distress and bring closure to the public.”