A cougar, an endangered animal in Ontario, and one rarely seen, was found dead in a snowbank. A wolverine, a threatened animal in Ontario, and one rarely seen, was found dead in a trap. In reports of both finds, however, the deaths of these animals were not treated as concerning, or even in a negative light. Photos of both, along with the anecdotes of those who found them, were published. And that’s about it.
But questions that should have been asked in both cases weren’t posed, or perhaps went unanswered from authorities. For example:
- Was a necropsy performed on the endangered cougar to determine cause of death?
- What is the significance of a cougar, rarely seen, being spotted in the northwest part of Ontario (as opposed to the farther northern reaches they’re believed to inhabit)?
- Is there a penalty for killing a threatened species in a trap? If no, why not?
- How many at-risk, threatened, or endangered species are killed in traps in Ontario every year?
- What is the government doing to prevent such trap-related injuries and deaths?
The Fur-Bearers have sent communications to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for explanations on these cases, and will share responses when they become available.
We hope that the Ministry is investigating these questions, even if the media who reported on the stories failed to ask them. Because the truth always matters – particularly when lives are lost.