Alberta Fish and Wildlife Officials came across the remains of two bull elk, two pregnant cow elk and a calf elk in a remote area near Fort Vermilion, Alberta.

After a report came in during the month of March, authorities uncovered the bodies of the elk, who by their guess, had been sitting beneath the snow for a couple of days prior to the discovery.

“The elk were buried in snow, that was presumably done to conceal their whereabouts,” Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Brendan Cox told CBC News.

“In the case of the two bull elk, their heads were taken, but everything else, it appears, was just wasted.”

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Image: Fort Vermillion Fish and Wildlife

Under Canada’s Wildlife Act, it is an offence to waste the edible flesh of big game animals such as elk, and if caught, the individuals could be facing upwards of over $50,000 in fines and up to a year in jail.

While the poaching of deer is unfortunately quite common, the poaching and discarding of this many elk is a rare occurrence.

“Deer are the most commonly poached animal, but it’s less common for this many elk to be shot and left like this,” said Cox.

“It’s certainly concerning and its something that our officers are investigating.”

H/T: CBC News