Second heli-hunting incident investigated

SAHIBAN KANWAL
Last updated 09:03 08/07/2014

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Another alleged illegal heli-hunting incident on South Canterbury conservation land is being investigated by the Department of Conservation.

Two compliance investigations are now under way regarding the alleged illegal aerial assisted trophy hunting of tahr in the Opuha and Twizel areas.

The previous incident, believed to have occurred near Opuha on February 15, allegedly involved a helicopter operator chasing tahr into a small gully before dropping two people off to shoot the animals.

Footage of the incident had appeared on line.

In May, deer hunters provided a sworn affidavit to DOC supporting the allegations regarding the Opuha incident.

DOC spokeswoman Lizzy Sutcliffe said that investigation was ongoing.

DOC has the ability to grant concessions for heli-hunting on conservation land but, in the first incident, it was alleged a concession-holder did not operate according to DOC regulations in Opuha, which prevents "any form of hazing, wilful, or reckless ill-treatment of wild animals."

Sutcliffe could not provide details of the Twizel incident, other than to confirm an investigation was under way.

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- The Timaru Herald

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