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Kelowna  

'It's absolutely disgusting': Animals living amongst 25K pounds of trash dumped near Kelowna

'It's absolutely disgusting'

The Okanagan Forest Task Force recently discovered roughly 25,000 pounds of trash in a remote forest area near Kelowna.

Amongst the sea of trash, Kane Blake and his colleague Ajay Weintz discovered wildlife such as bears, chipmunks and birds. Some animals made homes inside of the abandoned cars and travel trailers filled to the ceiling with garbage.

“It’s super disappointing to see animals living in these conditions, because they’re basically living wherever there's trash, and we don’t want that. It's just like when I find a pop can underwater and there's a fish living in it, it's never a good sight,” said Weintz.

Blake has been very vocal on social media about illegal dumping in the region. He recently captured a video of a chipmunk who made a home in an abandoned car's ventilation system. The car's windshield had been shattered, and the animal was living amongst the wreckage.

“It's absolutely disgusting. One of the big things I'm an advocate for is, when people have a family pet, you’re their voice. If it gets hurt, sick or anything like that, you take it to the vet. Nobody’s speaking up for the wildlife that have to live in this,” said Blake.

Blake also said their recent discovery was one of their worst campsites they've ever come across.

"Not the worst we’ve ever seen in one area, that would have been a few years ago, but easily the worst campsite we’ve seen” explained Blake.

Blake does feel a sense of compassion for those who are struggling, but he's having a hard time understanding why anyone would need to dump their trash when landfills are available nearby.

“I understand that there’s things happening in the world, and everything like that, but at no point do you ever need to bring that much garbage into the bush. It has devastating effects on wildlife,” mentioned Blake.

When asked what his message would be for those who are behind the illegal dumping, Blake responded “I don’t think we’d be allowed to air my answer.”

The Okanagan Forest Task Force will be cleaning up another remote location on Sunday, this time with conservation officers, after receiving a tip.

Blake said he no longer wants to give out his cleanup locations, because he’s noticed an increase in garbage disposal when the locations are posted.

If you have a tip you’d like to send to the Okanagan Forest Task Force, or you’d like to help, you can join the OFTF’s facebook page by clicking here.



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