RICHMOND RCMP are investigating after a toxic substance was located around a number of trees in South Arm Park.
On June 9, a Richmond resident reported finding a number of dead and sick squirrels in the area. City of Richmond staff and crews from Richmond Fire Rescue scoured the park and cordoned off all possibly affected areas for public safety.
RFR identified the substance as 1-Octanethiol, a compound used in the production of other chemicals which can be dangerous to people and animals if not handled correctly. An environmental clean-up team was immediately called to safely remove the substance, and the park remains open to the public.
“The origin of the toxin is still under investigation,” said Cpl. Ian Henderson on Monday. “Fortunately, the resident recognized something was wrong when she started seeing a number of dead and sick squirrels. We have not received any reports of people or family pets falling ill, nor have there been any other instances reported in other city parks at this time. Richmond RCMP and the City of Richmond are putting out this public warning to ensure residents, particularly pet owners, be aware and keep an eye out for anything suspicious, including multiple dead or sick wildlife in a concentrated area.”
Henderson said: “How and why this toxic material ended up here is still under investigation. Whether it was placed in specific locations intentionally or simply dumped in the park, this substance has no place here, and our investigators are working to determine who was responsible.”
Richmond RCMP are encouraging the public to be vigilant in local parks and to report suspicious activity to police immediately. Anyone who happens to witness someone placing a substance at the base of trees in the park is urged to contact the Richmond RCMP at 604-278-1212, quoting file number 21-15615.
Should you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit them online at www.solvecrime.ca.