Bear parts seizure sparks investigation

  • Oct. 27, 2011 3:00 p.m.

The Queen Charlotte RCMP is investigating illegal bear hunting on Haida Gwaii and the illegal possession of bear parts following an incident at the airport last week. Sgt. Rob Knapton said the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, or CATSA, noted passengers transporting bear paws with them on Oct. 17 and contacted the RCMP. Richmond RCMP met the flight from Sandspit when it arrived in Vancouver and detained three men in connection with this investigation. RCMP also seized approximately 250 pounds of bear and deer meat and several bear paws. The provincial conservation service unit in Vancouver is continuing this investigation, Sgt. Knapton said. The suspects are being investigated for several offences related to the illegal hunting of black bears and failing to comply with regulations associated with the transport of deer. Provincial regulations allow for the hunting of four black bears per year on Haida Gwaii, which must be inspected locally after being killed. This year’s limit has already been reached, which means that hunting of black bears has been closed here since spring.