Skeletal deer remains discovered in Nanaimo River have left slim pickings for investigators to follow up on.
Stuart Bates, Environment Ministry conservation officer, said Tuesday he still does not know much more than he did when he investigated the site Feb. 24.
About 25 wild deer that appeared to have been harvested for meat and were dumped into the river just upstream from the bridge on Cedar Road.
Bates estimated the deer were deboned for their meat and dumped into the river, likely from the back of a pickup truck sometime in January, judging by the state of the mostly skeletal remains.
“We’ve had a couple people call, but no witnesses,” Bates said.
If caught the person or persons who discarded the remains could be charged for illegal dumping, but Bates pointed out that thousands of salmon and other creatures regularly die in the Nanaimo River and the bones are not environmentally harmful.
In any event, the skeletal herd has likely been swept out to sea by heavy snow and rain runoff that raised the river level at least one metre over the weekend and flushed loose debris near the shoreline.
“They’re certainly underwater and – I can’t see them right now – but I’d venture a bet they’ve likely been washed out to sea,” Bates said.
Anyone who saw anything or has information about this incident is asked to call the Conservation Officer Hotline at 1-877-952-7277.