B.C. conservation officers were called on Tuesday, Feb. 18 to remove five hog carcasses from a ditch in Coombs. (Submitted)

Resident discovers five discarded hog heads in Vancouver Island ditch

WARNING: Graphic image may be upsetting to some readers

  • Feb. 20, 2020 12:00 a.m.

WARNING: Graphic image below may be upsetting to some readers

It wasn’t what you’d expect or want to see on your daily commute — five severed hog heads and hides in the ditch.

An area resident made the ‘gruesome’ discovery Tuesday while walking in the central Vancouver Island village of Coombs.

“It’s like ‘oh my god, I can’t unsee this now,’ it’s like a nightmare vision,” said the resident, who chose to remain anonymous. “I drive it every day, a couple of times a day, and a lot of people do walk along there or use it as a bike route.”

The person stumbled upon the scene on their daily drive. At first, they thought it was a deer, but after pulled over to take a closer look, found it to be the five hogs.

“There’s a lot of people dumping garbage along that road,” the resident indicated, adding it was a continuing problem. “People are throwing their trash at the side of the road.”

B.C. conservation officer Daniel Eichstadter said they were able to attend to the scene and clear the carcasses within a couple of hours of it being reported on Tuesday. He said it’s something that does happen in the area — in late November two dead sheep were also found on Hilliers Road.

“So we’ve had livestock carcasses kind of in the area before, it’s not specific to south Hilliers Road,” he said. “Every once in awhile, we get some kind of carcass dumped.”

READ MORE: Coombs man finds two discarded, dead sheep on Hilliers Road

Eichstadter said there isn’t any evidence surrounding the hogs — about who dumped them or why. He did say some people might see dumping as a way to skirt paying to properly dispose of animals at the dump, even though the price isn’t much higher than regular garbage.

“Proper disposal is either burial on a farm where they have a carcass pit and the ability to bury it where wildlife is not going to get to it,” he said. “Or take it to the transfer station or landfill where there is a small charge, it’s almost an unrecognizable difference in charge from regular waste to a carcass.”

Eichstadter said there are a variety of potential troublesome issues with carcass dumping. He said it’s a problem especially around this time of year, when bears are on the verge of re-emerging from hibernation, which puts both animals and humans at risk.

“In this hogs case, there were a lot of eagles and birds around… they can get hit by cars, which is going to cause an accident,” he said. “It’s going to hurt somebody, and it’s killing other wildlife.”

He also said depending on how the animal was killed, additional hazards can harm wildlife. If the animal was euthanized, it’s considered toxic waste, and improper disposal harms the environment and wildlife that might eat it.

“Especially when it’s been euthanized, take it to the landfill,” he said. “That carcass, because it got chemical euthanasia drugs in it, is dangerous and deadly to other wildlife.”

For pick up of non-livestock animals found within city boundaries, contact the local public works department in your jurisdiction.

cloe.logan@pqbnews.com

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