The court of public opinion does not favour poachers who kill young animals.
When the The Fur-Bearers offered a $1,000 reward for information related to the case of two cougar kittens recently poached in the Cowichan Valley, where the animals were left without their heads and paws, those wanting to help began to donate to the Canadian wildlife charity.
The total quickly grew to $8,250 as people came forward to contribute to the reward pot, and more recently, according to Aaron Hofman, the Fur-Bearers’s director of advocacy and policy, the reward has reached $10,000 as of May 13.
“People in B.C. want to find those responsible,” Hofman said. “In our almost 70-year history, we have never issued a reward this high before. The outpouring of support from individuals on Vancouver Island and the Mainland has been incredible.
The cougar kittens were killed near Hill 60 Forest Service Road just outside Lake Cowichan the first week of May.
According to officers, the animals were found with their paws and heads removed.
Poaching wildlife is a serious offence under the BC Wildlife Act, reminds the Conservation Officer Service, and it is illegal to kill cougar kittens (any cougar with spots or under one year of age), or cougars in a family unit.
“The killing of cougar kittens shows a blatant disregard for ethical hunting and wildlife conservation,” said Duncan Conservation Officer Mark Kissinger. “Thankfully, this is not the type of offence we see frequently.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) hotline at 1-877-952-7277.