A deer carcass that was lying on Canadian Pacific (CP) Rail tracks has caused concern for local residents.
The deer carcass was located in the downtown core, near the Fernie Legion and the Royal. A resident was walking his dog in the area when his dog smelled the rotting deer, ran over and started sniffing at it on the tracks. The dog was hit by an oncoming train, and suffered life-threatening injuries.
Because the deer was on CP property, CP was responsible for cleaning it up. However, due to a communication error, the deer was left there for over a week.
“Canadian Pacific train crews are required to report wildlife strikes to our Operations Centre. CP then dispatches crews to remove the carcass as soon as possible. In this situation there was a breakdown in communication, which we have internally addressed,” said Salem Woodrow, Public Affairs and Communications spokesperson for CP Rail.
The City of Fernie said they held no responsibility for the deer carcass as it was on private property. The bylaw officer said the deer on CP property is not a bylaw infringement and therefore he had no jurisdiction for the removal of the animal.
Because of the communication error within CP, the deer remained close to the downtown core for over a week, and was removed within a 24-hour period between Feb. 5. and Feb 6.
Deceased wildlife within the city is a concern to residents as it is an attractant for other animals, wildlife and predators, such as bears.