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BC SPCA, police investigate after three skunks mutilated

The BC SPCA is working with the Vancouver Police Department after three skunks were reportedly mutilated in East Vancouver.

BC SPCA chief scientific officer Sara Dubois said the first skunk was reported to them just over two weeks ago.

“The first was sighted by a member of the public. It was an animal with a huge head wound and it looked like it had dragged itself with a blood trail before dying,” explained Dubois.

“The person thought maybe it was a hit by a car and didn’t think much about it, but then they saw a second one a week later. The second one had an actual chunk of its body cut out of it. It was very suspicious.”

Dubois said the second grisly discovery prompted their call to the SPCA. Unfortunately both skunks were picked up by city crews before SPCA investigators could attend, but they were able to recover one skunk body when a third mutilated skunk was reported.

“The third had another section of its body removed, from its back this time,” said Dubois. “It will be sent for necropsy tomorrow when the animal health lab opens.”

Dubois said the cuts on the animals appear to be “very precise” cuts of skin that is then removed.

“It is very unusual, and having two within the same neighbourhood within a week is very disturbing,” she said. “Then having a third reported. We want to confirm cause of death by necropsy.”

This incident has sparked concern at the BC SPCA.

“Skunks are not an animal that are easy to catch, so if this is one person doing this it is very intentional behaviour,” added Dubois.

“Skunks are legally allowed to be killed as pest control, but only with certain methods and on people’s property, not bodies left in public. There is something going on and we want to find out more.”

The BC SPCA has asked the Vancouver Police Department to now be involved in the investigation.

“We have asked for their assistance because there may be other investigation work that needs to be done,” explained Dubois.

“They are in the loop and they have contacted a security company that has a property that is undergoing renovations in the area that may potentially have some footage. Hopefully we can get to the bottom of this sooner rather than later.”

Both the SPCA and the VPD are asking the public to be vigilant.

“At this point, in this area, we would be interested to know about any dead animal that has been found,” said Dubois.

“They can call the BC SPCA animal cruelty hotline at 1-855-6BC-SPCA (1-855-622-7722). If anyone has any usual behaviour to report you can call the Vancouver Police Department as well.”

Related: SPCA seizes 16 dogs from property in B.C. Interior

Related: BC SPCA receives 400 reports of dogs in hot cars so far this year

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