UPDATE: As of Friday afternoon, local CO’s have reported that someone has come forward and the investigation is ongoing.
Someone has made off with the head of a recently-killed bighorn sheep.
According to Elk Valley Conservation Officer (CO) Patricia Burley, they received a report of bighorn sheep dead on the side of Hwy. 3 at 9:30am on Friday morning, between Fernie and Elko.
“At that time, it still had its head,” said Burley.
By the time she had located it on the side of the highway to the west of Fernie, its head had been cut off.
Burley said that that behaviour wasn’t on, and now the Conservation Officer Service had opened an investigation into the incident.
“You can’t take any wildlife (or parts of animals) without the proper permits or licensing,” she said, referring to section 33 subsection 2 of the wildlife act.
Burley had originally gone to look for the sheep as CO duties include recording DNA information and the age of animals such as bighorn sheep that are killed, and now she had an investigation on her hands.
Burley said the sheep had been reported as already dead beside Hwy. 3 on the north side of the hwy between the Elko tunnel and the rock cut.
It had been killed in a collision with a vehicle before 9:30am, but no collision report was made. There was no sign that it had been shot.
Burley said that whoever had later stopped and cut off the animals head had been quick about it, but given that traffic through the area has been busy, hoped that a member of the public saw something.
“Whoever did it knew what they were doing, and did it fast.”
Burley encouraged anyone driving Hwy.3 between 9:30am and 12:15pm on Friday Dec. 3 that saw a vehicle stopped by the side of the road between the Elko tunnel and the rock cut to come forward with a description of the vehicle.
To report any information, call the RAPP hotline at 1-877-952-7277.
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