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October 27, 2017 9:59 pm

Conservation Officers Called in to Handle Snakes

Thursday, July 14, 2016 @ 1:46 PM

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 .”



I think it’s way past time for our Minister Mary Polak to take the bull by the horns and double or triple the staff and budget in the COS. It’s ridiculous that these folks are miles in the bush working alone talking to people with guns, and booze in a lot of cases. What will it take for the Environment Ministry to realize these employees are very valuable along with our resources and start funding this branch in a common sense way?

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