By Carole Morris-Underhill
MOUNT UNIACKE - Department of Natural Resources officials are asking for the public's help to find poachers who killed an endangered mainland moose that was removed for safety reasons last month from St. Croix.
The animal's remains were found in the woods near Highway 101 near Mount Uniacke. It was cut up, the meat removed, and the hide and head left behind.
"Poaching is a despicable act that seriously threatens this endangered species and needs to be strongly condemned by all Nova Scotians," said Zach Churchill, the minister of Natural Resources in a press release. "I encourage anyone with information about illegal hunting to contact Natural Resources."
Biologists, wildlife technicians and conservation officers had tranquilized the four-year-old, 600-pound male moose on Sept. 30, and set it free near Pockwock,in the Halifax Regional Municipality.
It was last seen alive in that area on Oct. 23.
The moose had been moved for the safety of the animal, drivers and local residents.
DNR wants the public to know that the meat of this moose contains residual tranquilizer drugs and is not considered safe to eat.
It has been illegal to hunt the endangered mainland moose since 1981. Poaching is a significant factor slowing the recovery of the mainland moose population.
Anyone with information to assist enforcement officers with the investigation is asked to call the toll-free report-a-poacher line at 1-800-565-2224 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about illegal hunting is available at, http://novascotia.ca/natr/enforcement/reportapoacher.asp.