Alberta Fish and Wildlife investigators have determined the cause of death for eight coyotes found dumped in a ditch in Strathcona County last month.
Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Brendan Cox said officers used photographs of the coyote carcasses to determine that the animals were snared at another location before being disposed of in the ditch.
The department first received a report about the dead coyotes on Apr. 12, with concerns raised that the animals had been poisoned.
Strathcona County removed the coyotes to a landfill, where they were disposed of in a pit with other animal carcasses. After a Fish and Wildlife officer who later attended the landfill to inspect the coyotes was unable to safely access the disposal site, officers used photographs to rule out poisoning.
Although the person responsible for the incident has not been found, Fish and Wildlife have closed their investigation.
“At this time it's unknown who was responsible for this and who disposed of them as there wasn't any evidence to lead us to a responsible party. But should we obtain further information, then the investigation would be reopened,” Cox said.
Cox added that there are a number of legal ways to harvest coyotes in the province, including hunting and trapping, and that any charges laid in the incident would be related to improper disposal of the carcasses.
“So ultimately the most unusual thing about this incident for the time being seems to be the manner in which they were disposed, which could be a charge under the Environmental Enhancement and Protection Act."
Anyone with information about the coyotes or any other suspicious hunting activities can call Report a Poacher at 1-800-642-3800 or make a report online.

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