The Department of Fisheries and Land Resources has released some details about the illegal shooting of a bear this winter, and the incident is being called “unusual” and “disturbing.”
The bear was killed near Churchill Falls in Newfoundland and Labrador after its den was intentionally set on fire. Bears are not in season during the winter while they’re hibernating, and yet it appears that someone set the bear’s den on fire in order to force it out, and then shot it when it emerged.
Travis Clannon, a senior wildlife official, told the CBC that while out-of-season hunting isn’t unusual when it comes to some animals, for someone to poach a bear out of season is “very uncommon.”
“For someone to seek out a bear during that time and want to harvest them, it’s very odd to us,” Clannon said. “It’s disturbing, and we were surprised. The investigation keeps unraveling and we’re surprised with every turn that we take.”
Wildlife officials do not know who is responsible for the shooting, but they say that if the perpetrator is found, they will face charges, including harassment of wildlife. Most of all, officials are just puzzled at why someone would do this.
“I won’t speak to the who. The why is something that we’re certainly shaking our heads at,” Clannon said.
The Department of Fisheries and Land Resources is asking the public to report any information that could help with the investigation. Anyone with information has been asked to contact Fish and Wildlife Enforcement in Wabush at 709-944-4898 or via stoppoaching.ca.