Conservation officers investigating after drone seen harassing nesting eagles

Drone buzzes eagle nest

The BC Conservation Officer Service is investigating after a group of young people were seen flying a drone near a pair of nesting bald eagles on Knox Mountain Friday.

The incident occurred at about 7 p.m. in the Herbert Heights area of the park, on the west side of Knox.

“A group of six or seven youth were observed operating a drone chasing and harassing a pair of nesting bald eagles,” Conservation officer Ken Owens said in a statement.

“The bald eagles in this nesting area were extremely agitated by the proximity of the drone chasing them.”

Owens said the incident was a violation of B.C.'s Wildlife Act, which prohibits harassing wildlife with the use of a motor vehicle, aircraft, boat or other mechanical device. He added that such a violation can carry a maximum $100,000 fine and up to a year in jail.

“Wildlife are sensitive to disturbance, especially at certain times of the year — their mating seasons or when newborns are around,” Owens said. “The last thing they need is to be harassed by a drone.”

The Conservation Officer Service is looking for any information about Friday's incident. Those who witnessed it can call the Report All Poachers and Polluters hotline at 1-877-952-7277.

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