For days now, conservation officers in northwestern British Columbia have been looking for information about a grizzly bear spotted with an arrow lodged in its head.
The B.C. Conservation Officer Service is sharing a disturbing photo of the wounded animal, which was taken by a passing motorist along Highway 37 North outside Meziadin Junction, not far from the Alaska border.
“If you have any information about this incident, please call the #RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277,” the province said in its June 15 social media posts.
Can you help?— BC CO Service (@_BCCOS) June 15, 2022
The photo below, of a Grizzly Bear with a broken-off arrow stuck in its head, was taken by a passing motorist & provided to #Smithers #BCCOS
It was taken along Hwy 37 North, just north of the Meziadin junction. If you have any info, please call the #RAPP line. pic.twitter.com/5kytf37eAT
Tips quickly came in.
In a post to the conservation service’s Facebook page, Wendy Banting noted that the animal looked like the same bear she saw with friends when they were camping May 31 at Meziadin Lake Provincial Park, not far away.
“The bear was grazing just off the side of the road and at that time the bear did not seem to be too concerned with our presence in the vehicle however we did not stick around for long. I mentioned to the park attendant that this bear had some kind of object in its head,” she wrote.
She also posted this photo.
“When we zoomed in on this picture we thought the hollow object was a broken bear claw from perhaps an encounter with another bear,” Banting added. “Its eyes looked sad.”
Then, Louise Van der Lans posted a photo to the service’s page of this bear she saw at Meziadin Junction on May 31.
It’s unclear what might happen to the bear if left alone to fend for itself — or if the conservation service would intervene to treat the injury.
However, officials would like more tips and the conservation service is investigating it as a poaching case.
Grizzly bear hunting was banned in B.C. in 2017.