Grizzly bear found dead in Squamish River illegally killed, conservation officers say

The BC Conservation Officer Service (BCCOS) says a grizzly bear found dead in the Squamish River earlier in the month was killed illegally.

The service is now looking for information to figure out who was responsible for the death of the bruin, which had been relocated from Squamish in 2020.

According to the BCCOS, conservation officers received reports about the bear floating in the river on Aug. 10, 2023.

“Upon investigation, a necropsy showed that the grizzly bear had been shot and a rope was tied around it in effort to drag it into the river for disposal,” the service wrote.

It’s believed the grizzly was killed sometime between Aug. 7 and 9. The animal had a yellow ear tag and was known to “frequent the area” of the Chekamus and Squamish rivers.

“It is an offence under the Wildlife Act to kill a grizzly bear, as there is no open season to hunt grizzlies,” the BCCOS explains, adding it’s also an offence to not report an accidental or defensive shooting.

The province moved in 2017 to bring an end to hunting grizzlies, following consultation.

A first guilty conviction can result in a fine of up to $100,000 or imprisonment for a year, or both, the service explains.

The BCCOS is urging anyone with information about the grizzly’s death or the person/people who may have been responsible to contact the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.

The service says callers can remain anonymous, and notes there are reward programs available for information that leads to a conviction.

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