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LA: 4th illegally killed black bear discovered

December 22, 2009

FOURTH ILLEGALLY KILLED BLACK BEAR DISCOVERED

A female Louisiana black bear was found dead by a hunter on Three Rivers Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Concordia Parish on Sunday, Dec. 20.

The bear was identified as one of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) research bears equipped with a transmitter collar.

The hunter reported the information via the Louisiana Operation Game Thief toll free hotline. LDWF Enforcement Division agents responded to the scene and have started an investigation. LDWF's Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Jim LaCour and Large Carnivore Biologist Mike Hooker performed a necropsy on the bear to aid in the investigation.

According to Enforcement Division's Lt. Col. Keith LaCaze the bear was shot. "This is the fourth illegally killed bear on a WMA to date for the 2009-10 hunting season. Three others have been killed on Red River WMA," he said.

This bear, along with her three cubs, was moved in 2006 as part of the multi-agency Louisiana Black Bear Reintroduction Program. She denned on Three Rivers WMA and produced two cubs in 2009. The status of her orphaned cubs is unknown.

"The loss of another adult female in her prime is a significant loss to bear recovery," noted LDWF Secretary Robert J. Barham. "Setbacks like these are not only frustrating and costly, but they may also delay removal of the Louisiana black bear from the Endangered Species List."

Killing a bear is a state and federal offense with penalties including up to $50,000 in fines, jail time and loss of hunting privileges. Anyone with any information regarding this or any other wildlife crime should call Louisiana Operation Game Thief, Inc. at 800-442-2511. Cash rewards up to $5,000 are offered for information leading to the apprehension of individuals harming a black bear. Callers may remain anonymous.

For more information, contact Lt. Col. Keith LaCaze at 225-765-2988 or klacaze@wlf.la.gov. 2009-386.

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