Shocked spectators watch as man drowns squirrel at Cowichan Lake

Shocked spectators watch as man drowns squirrel at Cowichan Lake

Incident in Lake Cowichan spoiled a perfect summer day for many

A beautiful Sunday morning (July 24) in Lake Cowichan was marred for some by an act of animal cruelty.

Nick Epp-Evans, from Ladysmith, and his two children were launching their vessel from Lake Cowichan’s boat launch along with a number of other recreational boaters when a truck pulled up on the dock.

Epp-Evans said a man stepped out of the truck with a trap cage containing a very alive and active black squirrel.

“Looking very proud of himself, in front of my two kids and some others that were there, the man threw the cage into the water to deliberately drown the creature,” he said.

“He left the cage in the water for about three minutes and when he pulled it out, the squirrel was lying flat and obviously dead. Nobody could believe what was happening and many were shocked by what they saw. My kids were in a state of disbelief and my daughter had tears in her eyes.”

RELATED STORY: CHEMAINUS MAN RECEIVES 18-MONTHS PROBATION ON ANIMAL CRUELTY CHARGE

Epp-Evans said a woman confronted the man and he yelled that he could have gassed or shot the squirrel instead.

“He wasn’t being very aggressive, but it was clear to me that he did it for attention because he was proud as a peacock when he was doing it and seemed to have deliberately chosen the spot because there were a lot of people around,” he said.

“He definitely wanted a confrontation with someone. After his conversation with the lady who confronted him, he put the cage with the dead squirrel in it back in the truck and drove away. The lady was upset and wrote down the truck’s registration number. Everyone else was too shocked by the incident to do anything at the time. The people on the boat launch, including ourselves, were out to enjoy the beautiful day and then this very negative thing just happened.”

The RCMP detachment in Lake Cowichan said it had received no reports of the incident, but if any witnesses want to file a report, they can contact the detachment.

Kaley Pugh, the BC SPCA’s regional manager of cruelty investigations on Vancouver Island, also said there was no official report made to the SPCA on the incident.

She said investigations into such occurrences can be difficult to pursue, but receiving good and accurate information from the public helps ease the process.

RELATED STORY: SPCA INVESTIGATING AFTER EMACIATED MOOSE EUTHANIZED AT B.C. ZOO

Pugh said people can call the SPCA’s cruelty hotline at 855-622-7722 to report instances of cruelty to animals and they will be investigated.

“People are allowed to trap and kill squirrels in B.C., but acceptable methods must be used and drowning them is not considered humane,” Pugh said.

“Technically, the man in this incident could be prosecuted for animal cruelty.”

Pugh said there are other ways to deal with problem squirrels, as well as other problem wildlife, that doesn’t involve drowning or killing them, and the BC SPCA has a list of recommended methods on its website.

For, example, she said people with problems with squirrels and other wildlife in their chimneys or garages can control the animal’s access points.

“There are also humane ways to harass animals into relocating, including the use of lights, radios and even apple-cider vinegar,” Pugh said.

“Trapping and relocating them are not generally recommended because it’s risky and often not humane. People can also call pest control companies and we have a list of reputable ones on our website.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

animal cruelty

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

Just Posted

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
UPDATE: Black bear tranquillized, being relocated by conservation officers

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

Ladysmith resident Bonnie Cook lost the use of most of her basement and her backyard after experiencing a major water leak. (Cole Schisler photo)
Drip by drip: water line leaks lead to big repair bills for Ladysmith homeowners

Nearly all reported leaks occur on old copper lines that have been bent or manipulated

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ superintendent Scott Saywell at a May 6 press event showing off two new electric school buses. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district shows off electric buses

New buses anticipated to reduce 17 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from SD68 buses

An Ater-group Airon Slug identified during YES’s Bio-Blitz. (Yellow Point Ecological Society photo)
Yellow Point Ecological Society’s Bio-Blitz a big success

The Yellow Point Ecological Society held their first-ever Bio-Blitz over the weekend… Continue reading

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Most Read