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Beaver carcasses found in Don Valley

Ralph Toninger of the Toronto Region Conservation Authority scans the area were beaver carcasses were found in March and April, 2013. CITYNEWS

The Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) is investigating after a hiker found skinned beaver carcasses in the Don Valley.

Last month, Tom Saask came across two dead beavers while walking on a trail in Crothers Woods, an area north of Pottery Road. In the weeks since, he has found six more.

“I see this huge blaze of red under the end of a log, and I look closer and it’s two skinned carcasses,” Saask said.

“They were braceleted at the wrists and at the ankles, which is how you skin an animal. And it was done really well.”

Trapping is allowed in the province with a licence from Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources, but an official with the TRCA said it’s unlikely the person responsible is an expert.

“The way animals have been dumped here, it is not a professional trapper,” Ralph Toninger said.

“It could be someone experimenting, watching too much YouTube.”

Shannon Kornelsen of the Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals believes the city should get involved.

“It’s important that we ask ourselves what type of regulations there are to prevent this from happening. It really consistently shows the importance of a municipal ban,” she said.

“It’s especially upsetting because they are a keystone species. This is a no-brainer that this has to be shut down.”

Anyone with tips can call 311.

With files from Keeley Rogers