Sunday, May 8, 2016

Burnaby woman fined $5,000 in bear parts case


Burnaby woman fined $5,000 in bear parts case




A Burnaby woman who illegally purchased bear gall bladders to treat her ailing child has been fined $5,000.
Yon Kim pleaded guilty in February to two counts of trafficking in bear gall bladders. She was sentenced on Tuesday in provincial court in Port Coquitlam. Two other charges of importing or exporting bear paws and unlawful possession of dead wildlife were stayed.
The investigation that led to the charges against Kim began after a phone call Kim made in early October 2014 to the Yellowstone Country Bear Hunters Association in Wyoming. She was looking for bear gall bladders.
A representative of the association reported the call to the state’s fish and wildlife authority. Someone from that authority spoke to Kim, who said she knew that buying bear gall bladders was illegal but she needed them to treat her son’s neurological condition.
The B.C. Conservation Officer Service was alerted, and the service initiated an undercover operation. An undercover officer arranged to meet Kim in Merritt. Kim asked about buying bear paws, and the officer told her that buying or selling bear parts was illegal. She said she knew and didn’t want to see bears killed, but she thought people were more important.
On Oct. 27, 2014, the officer posed as a hunter and met with Kim and an acupuncturist named Yunhee Kim (the women are not related). The officer and a colleague sold the women three gall bladders and four paws for $750.
Kim purchased gall bladders one more time on Nov. 9, 2014 in Coquitlam.
In March, Yunhee Kim was fined $22,400 after pleading guilty to seven charges related to trafficking in bear gall bladders and paws, and deer meat.
Yunhee (Sarah) Kim
Acupuncturist Yunhee (Sarah) Kim pleaded guilty to trafficking in bear gall bladders and paws. (Kim's Acupuncture and Herb Clinic)

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