Bear paws discovered in downtown alley

The two bear paws discovered in an alley behind Cedar Ave., in downtown Trail remain a mystery to local law enforcement.

The two bear paws discovered in an alley behind Cedar Ave., in downtown Trail remain a mystery to local law enforcement.

The RCMP was contacted on Sunday when a person discovered the two severed paws lying on the ground in the alley between Cedar Ave., and Pine Ave.

“We have no idea of how long they had been there and there are no witnesses,” said Sgt. Rob Hawton of the Trail and District detachment when contacted by the Trail Times.

“Conservation was contacted and had nothing further to add.”

Calls to local conservation officers and the provincial headquarters were not returned.

Hawton said there is little recourse for the RCMP in such a case with no witnesses or leads.

“Hunting season closed on June 30 so the bear may have been harvested legally and at this time we do not have evidence of an offence.”

He added the detachment was not aware of any other reports of this nature.

Bear paws are highly valued in some Asian markets.

In early June, more than 200 bear paws were discovered as smugglers tried to enter China. Reports estimated the value to be over $450,000 on the black market. Many believe the paws are high in nutrition content and recognized as an expensive gift.

The sale and export of bear parts is illegal in B.C.

which enacted legislation almost 20 years ago.