The BC Conservation Office says a dead Roosevelt elk found near Patterson Lake may have been poached. This undated file photo shows a male elk.

Poacher may have killed elk on Vancouver Island

Death of bull elk ‘very suspect,’ says provincial conservation officer

Conservation authorities are asking for information from the public after finding a dead elk that may have been poached, says James Hilgemann, a provincial conservation officer.

He said that natural resource officers found the animal while inspecting a cut block near Patterson Lake, northwest of Campbell River.

“They noticed some turkey vultures circling and went over the hump and located this five-point bull elk laying roadside,” said Hilgemann.

“It’s a younger bull elk,” he said. “It’s probably three, four years old.”

He examined the cadaver with another officer, skinning back the hide. The animal was mostly untouched.

“Turkey vultures took the eyeball and some areas around the rump,” Hilgemann said.

A poacher would have normally taken some meat, unless they were scared away by someone, he said.

He also said no claw marks were visible that would indicate a cougar attack, although a cougar may have attacked and then been “flushed off.”

But he said there were two holes in the animal’s jugular area, and some bruising caused by blunt trauma.

“Somebody may have shot it with a high-powered rifle,” he said.

However, no casings or other evidence of poaching was found nearby.

“Very suspect. It’s inconclusive,” he said. “Cause of death unknown.”

He said that anyone with evidence of poaching can contact the RAPP line anonymously.

Hilgemann added that elks are high-value animals, and the stakes would be high in a prosecution.

Authorities would likely seek a penalty of up to $15,000, he said.

The animal was a Roosevelt elk, a subspecies that, in B.C., is mainly found on Vancouver Island.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ladysmith designer donates her time to make free face masks and gowns

Nikki MacCallum works three days a week on masks and gowns, and three days on her regular business

Nanaimo school district to develop learning plan to account for COVID-19

Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district superintendent advises parents keep kids at home

LDCU offers no interest loans for members in need

Existing members can borrow up to $5,000 interest free

Sweet treat helps make Chemainus Health Care Centre workers feel complete

Girl Guide cookies always in good taste when showing appreciation

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Ongoing list of Ladysmith COVID-19 cancellations and closures

Everything in Ladysmith that has been impacted by COVID-19

Couple celebrates 61st anniversary through Vancouver Island seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

Belle from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ entertains home-bound kids in Cowichan Bay

Alora Killam, 16, played the part in musical two years ago

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

Most Read