Conservation officers have a tough job.
Some days they save a wild animal; others they have no choice but to euthanize it.
Just in the first few days of the new year, British Columbia’s Conservation Officer Service has been running all over the countryside to calls of animals in distress.
In the province’s interior on Jan. 5, conservation officers in the Okanagan rescued a mule deer on a frozen section of Okanagan Lake near Vernon.
“The deer was trapped on the thin ice after it was unable to maintain traction on the slippery surface,” the service posted on Facebook. “Great work officers!”
Meanwhile, an orphaned bear cub was rescued by Prince George. Conservation officers also swooped in to save the wee thing.
“The cub was found sleeping under a bobcat machine. CO’s have determined the cub is a good candidate for rehabilitation. Next stop for the bear is the Northern Lights Wildlife facility near Smithers,” officials said.
Then, on Jan. 8, two members of the service saved a “majestic bull elk” in Penticton.
“The Elk had managed to severely tangle himself in wildlife high fencing,” officials said.
But official leaped on the scene, immobilized the animal, cut it out of the fencing and sent it back to its herd without injuries.
And offered these words of advice:
“Although wildlife high fencing is a great tool to keep wildlife out of your property, garden, orchard and vineyard please be sure to periodically inspect your fencing to ensure there are not access or entry areas. In doing so this will ensure our ungulates stay wild, safe and conflict free!”
But sadly, a cougar spotting in front of an apartment building in Kelowna this week was not so lucky. Conservation officers and RCMP found it huddled in an alcove near the main entrance of the building on Cooper Road on Sunday night.
“The cougar was captured by the local CO’s. A thorough assessment revealed that the animal was in poor condition and not a candidate for relocation. The cougar was humanely euthanized,” officials said.
It is a tough job, but we’re glad they are there to do it.