Poaching toll rises with gruesome discovery in Gaspésie Provincial Park

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Wildlife officers are trying to track down poachers they believe are rampant in the Gaspesie Parkprovincial park of Quebec in the Chic-Chocs mountains.

The investigation began after a couple of moose – a mother and calf – were found dismembered by the side of a road on Sunday.

Wildlife enthusiast Robert Lepage had filmed video of the same adult moose he later found severed – head and torso left in the middle of the road, with the rest of the body missing.

The moose’s calf had been decapitated and the head was nowhere in sight.

“I was really angry. We don’t hunt. We’re too old, so we like to walk around the park to see live animals – moose and deer. When you see animals cut up like that and left to rot, it’s really upsetting,” said Lepage, who lives near Ste-Anne-des-Monts.

At least two other animals were also illegally killed in the park in late October.

Killings limited to a small area

The discovery represents the fourth and fifth carcasses found within a four-kilometre radius since October, according to park conservation officer Claude Isabel.

He said it was the first time in 15 years that he had seen such a thing.

The shameless acts were committed in broad daylight.

“We think it’s provocation. The acts are committed in the heart of the park, near Mont-Albert, where there is a lot of activity. These people are quite daring,” Isabel said.

Fines for hunting or fishing in protected areas can reach $40,000.

The Quebec Wildlife Protection Agency sent officers from Matane and Grande-Vallée to help with the investigation.

They ask anyone with information to contact them at their office in Ste-Anne-des-Monts or at SOS Poachingat 1-800-463-2191.

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