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City of Victoria says employee who decapitated deceased cougar has been fired

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Just over a month after a City of Victoria employee decapitated the corpse of a cougar, a spokesperson with the municipality confirmed this person has been officially terminated. 

In early December, the BC Conservation Officer Service (COS) told Victoria Buzz that the employee had received a “written warning,” in lieu of heavy fines that could have been issued to him, and now he has lost his job as well. 

On Tuesday, November 21st, VicPD shot and killed a fully-grown cougar who was spotted in the Selkirk Waterfront area of Vic West as a precaution because of its close proximity to nearby schools. 

After it was killed, VicPD brought the animal’s remains to a waste management facility in the city and left the body in a dumpster until COS officers could come pick the body up to be disposed of properly. 

While the body was being held at the facility, a City worker climbed into the dumpster and decapitated its remains, taking the head of the animal with him. 

The head was discovered to be missing by his colleagues and management was informed at which point supervisors warned staff of serious repercussions should the head not be returned promptly. 

The head was returned shortly after this warning was issued. 


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As of Monday December 11th, the COS had concluded its investigation and told Victoria Buzz that a written warning was issued on their behalf to this employee. 

“One individual received a written warning in relation to this file,” said a COS spokesperson. 

“The cougar head was promptly returned to the COS. The individual was co-operative throughout the investigation and expressed remorse for their actions.”

They continued by stating that in situations like this, conservation officers have discretion when issuing enforcement action. This can range from a written warning to initiating a court proceeding.

On Monday, January 8th, the City told Victoria Buzz they had opted to terminate the employee because of the ordeal. 

“The City has concluded its investigation process into this incident and we can confirm the individual responsible is no longer employed by the City,” said a Victoria spokesperson. 

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Curtis Blandy
curtis@victoriabuzz.com

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