Shocked spectators watch as man drowns squirrel at Cowichan Lake

Incident in Lake Cowichan spoiled a perfect summer day for many

A beautiful Sunday morning (July 24) in Lake Cowichan was marred for some by an act of animal cruelty.

Nick Epp-Evans, from Ladysmith, and his two children were launching their vessel from Lake Cowichan’s boat launch along with a number of other recreational boaters when a truck pulled up on the dock.

Epp-Evans said a man stepped out of the truck with a trap cage containing a very alive and active black squirrel.

“Looking very proud of himself, in front of my two kids and some others that were there, the man threw the cage into the water to deliberately drown the creature,” he said.

“He left the cage in the water for about three minutes and when he pulled it out, the squirrel was lying flat and obviously dead. Nobody could believe what was happening and many were shocked by what they saw. My kids were in a state of disbelief and my daughter had tears in her eyes.”

RELATED STORY: CHEMAINUS MAN RECEIVES 18-MONTHS PROBATION ON ANIMAL CRUELTY CHARGE

Epp-Evans said a woman confronted the man and he yelled that he could have gassed or shot the squirrel instead.

“He wasn’t being very aggressive, but it was clear to me that he did it for attention because he was proud as a peacock when he was doing it and seemed to have deliberately chosen the spot because there were a lot of people around,” he said.

“He definitely wanted a confrontation with someone. After his conversation with the lady who confronted him, he put the cage with the dead squirrel in it back in the truck and drove away.

The lady was upset and wrote down the truck’s registration number. Everyone else was too shocked by the incident to do anything at the time. The people on the boat launch, including ourselves, were out to enjoy the beautiful day and then this very negative thing just happened.”

The RCMP detachment in Lake Cowichan said it had received no reports of the incident, but if any witnesses want to file a report, they can contact the detachment.

Kaley Pugh, the BC SPCA’s regional manager of cruelty investigations on Vancouver Island, also said there was no official report made to the SPCA on the incident.

She said investigations into such occurrences can be difficult to pursue, but receiving good and accurate information from the public helps ease the process.

RELATED STORY: SPCA INVESTIGATING AFTER EMACIATED MOOSE EUTHANIZED AT B.C. ZOO

Pugh said people can call the SPCA’s cruelty hotline at 855-622-7722 to report instances of cruelty to animals and they will be investigated.

“People are allowed to trap and kill squirrels in B.C., but acceptable methods must be used and drowning them is not considered humane,” Pugh said.

“Technically, the man in this incident could be prosecuted for animal cruelty.”

Pugh said there are other ways to deal with problem squirrels, as well as other problem wildlife, that doesn’t involve drowning or killing them, and the BC SPCA has a list of recommended methods on its website.

For, example, she said people with problems with squirrels and other wildlife in their chimneys or garages can control the animal’s access points.

“There are also humane ways to harass animals into relocating, including the use of lights, radios and even apple-cider vinegar,” Pugh said.

“Trapping and relocating them are not generally recommended because it’s risky and often not humane. People can also call pest control companies and we have a list of reputable ones on our website.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

animal cruelty

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Campbell River Remembrance Day Ceremony 2019. Campbell River Mirror file photo
Campbell River Remembrance Day Ceremony to go ahead in reduced form

Public asked not to attend; event will be streamed on social media, Shaw TV

Father Charles Brandt, a hermit priest. File Photo
Black Creek environmentalist and Catholic priest-hermit Father Charles Brandt passes away

He devoted his life to protecting and preserving natural habitats

Two suspects seen outside of Gord Knight Auto on Oct. 27 at around 4:15 a.m. Campbell River RCMP are looking for information on these suspects’ identities. Photo supplied by RCMP
RCMP look for suspects in break-in cases

Two suspects caught on surveilance video

Campbell River RCMP. RCMP photo
Police investigation results in multiple property crime charges

A Campbell River RCMP investigation has lead to multiple property crime charges… Continue reading

Michele Babchuk sat on the SRD board, a position that will need to be filled after she heads to the legislature. Photo contributed
Good timing for Babchuk’s seat replacement at SRD table

SRD Board scheduled to hold chair election next week

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cowichan Search and Rescue set up near the Silver Bridge in Duncan on Wednesday morning, Oct. 28, 2020 to rescue a dog from the Cowichan River. (Citizen file)
Cowichan Search and Rescue save dog from icy Cowichan River

Search and Rescue’s swiftwater team was called in

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

The Calgary Zoo is aiding in recovery efforts for the Vancouver Island marmot, an endangered species. Pictured here, a marmot at Mount Washington. (Black Press file)
Despite challenges, 2020 good year for Vancouver Island marmot population

In 2019, the foundation counted 60 pups; this year, it reached 46

Items seized over four days of targeted vehicle checks Nanaimo and Victoria by members of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. (CFSEU-BC photo)
Gang enforcement team seizes drugs and weapons in Nanaimo and Victoria

Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. checked 33 vehicles over four days

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Most Read