A loon carved by First nations artist Jerome Boyce has gone missing from the Bridge Lake Ice Caves.
Ice Caves Heritage Trail co-ordinator Helga Zeiner, who has worked hard to turn the Ice Caves into a heritage and recreation area, says the carving went missing sometime on May 3 or 4.
The 4-foot-tall carving is one of eight different animals carved by the artist that are being added to fitness stations along the trail. So far, three have been added, alongside two totem poles carved by Boyce to mark the entrance to the caves.
Zeiner says she is incredibly upset about the theft and is currently working with Recreation Sites &Trails BC to figure out how to secure the other ones.
“It’s such a distinct carving, it’s beautiful,” she says.
Zeiner hopes that by getting the word out people will recognize the carving if they see it anywhere.
Zeiner asks anyone with information to contact the 100 Mile House RCMP at 250-395-2456 or, if they wish to remain anonymous, by calling her at 250-706-9752.
“We would be most grateful if you can assist in getting this treasured artwork back to our community,” she says.
The Interlakes community has worked for three years to bring attention to and showcase the Bridge Lake Ice Caves. Historically, the crevices which house an almost year-round supply of ice, were used to supply ice to early European settlers and First Nations in the area.
The site is known to local First Nations as the “Entrance to Bear World.” On April 1, two totem poles depicting the bear among other local animals carved by Boyce, a member of the Canim Lake (Tsq’escenemc) First Nation were unveiled at the site.
With files from Carole Rooney