Conservation Officers Called in to Handle Snakes
Prince George, B.C.- Conservation Officers in B.C. have had a busy July, dealing with everything from Vipers to Mussels.
BC Conservation Officer Service Deputy Chief Chris Doyle says COs were called to deal with three venomous mountain pit vipers from China. The snakes were discovered last week in a package at a Canada Post Distribution Centre in Richmond . “This package originated from China and were enroute to Manitoba” says Doyle “These snakes can be very dangerous because no anti-venom exists in Canada for this species of snake. Two of the snakes were found dead in a container, the third snake had escaped from the container crate and was found loose in the outer box.”
The surviving snake is being kept alive, but will not remain in B.C. unless there is a specific place that is prepared to take and care for the snake.
Conservation Officers have also been busy as the boat inspection stations checking for zebra mussels. “So far this year, we have inspected 9500 boats, and 344 of them had come from high risk areas” says Doyle. He says nine of the crafts, all from Ontario, were found to be carrying adult zebra mussels. Doyle says a further 55 vessels were quarantined for decontamination. A further 29 tickets, and 22 warnings were issued to drivers of vehicles which failed to stop at an inspection station.
Oh, but that’s not all, Conservation Officers have been busy in the Omineca region, visiting 23 recreation sites, several lakes and a Provincial Park on the July 1st long weekend. Over that weekend they laid 17 charges under the Fisheries Act, and the Canada Shipping Act for violations. BC Conservation Officer Service Deputy Chief, Chris Doyle says liquor and a firearm were seized by C.O’s .
Doyle says so far this year, the reports of human-wildlife conflict are down about 10% in B.C. compared to last year. He says it’s too early to say for sure why those numbers are down, “But it seems generally speaking it’s not as hot and dry across the province. We’re seeing more moisture than we have seen in the last coupe of years results in more vegetation being available and will also ensure berries ripen at a normal rate, they may not get burned off or ripen too early. So we if we get these similar weather patterns where we see some sun and some rain, we should see lower numbers of conflict in many areas, and it may depend in some areas on how good fish returns are .”