Alberta Fish and Wildlife officials are asking for the community’s help to locate a suspect involved in an illegal poaching incident in February.
An investigation is currently underway after a cougar was illegally shot and left south of the Ghost River, about five kilometres west of where the river enters Ghost Lake.
The cougar was a sub-adult who weighed less than 100 pounds. Evidence at the scene included a pair of green and brown work gloves left by the poachers, along with a still burning fire.
“Poaching is obviously illegal and dangerous, and it takes away wildlife that would otherwise remain part of the province’s environment,” said Mark Hoskin, Fish and Wildlife officer, southern region. “In Alberta, it is unlawful to abandon the skin of a mountain lion that has been hunted. As well, cougar season was closed in the cougar management area at the time of the offence.”
Brendan Cox, communications adviser, for the justice and solicitor general, said if the kill was out of self-defense, it would have to be reported as such to avoid charges.
“When a self-defense kill is reported to us, we will investigate accordingly, and we can say with certainty that when the evidence supports the self-defense assertion, then charges will not be laid,” Cox said.
Those found responsible could face up to a $50,000 fine and/or one year in jail.
Anyone with any information, including who they saw in the area that day, is asked to contact Report a Poacher by phone or online at 1-800-642-3800 or visit www.alberta.ca/report-poacher.aspx. Callers can remain anonymous and will receive a financial reward if charges are laid.