SC: Captive bear attacked by hunting dogs, SC owner charged
September 10, 2013
COLUMBIA — A man charged with allowing hunting dogs to repeatedly
attack and bite a captive bear has pleaded guilty to mistreating
animals and agreed to give up three bears he kept in cages on remote
land north of Greenville.
Monday’s plea by James Robert
Grumbles resulted from a wide-sweeping state investigation of
illegal hunting and treatment of black bears in the South Carolina
mountains. The S.C. Department of Natural Resources has in the past
four weeks charged a dozen people with about 50 offenses, ranging
from killing a mother bear with cubs to killing undersized bears.
Grumbles, a 65-year-old Travelers Rest resident, was charged
with a felony count of animal cruelty but pleaded to a misdemeanor
count in exchange for giving up the three bears he owns, according
to the DNR. The bears will be sent to a wildlife preserve in
Colorado in the next two to three weeks, McCullough said.
Hunting-dog competitions, according to the DNR, draw thousands of
people to remote parts of the Upstate to watch dogs go after bears
that are tied to a stake. The idea is to get dogs used to being
around bears so they can help corner the animals during South
Carolina’s hunting season in October.
But too often, dogs
attack the bears, ripping their flesh and drawing blood, wildlife
agents say. Bears have had some teeth removed and their claws have
been filed down, making it difficult to defend themselves. During a
competition, a bear might face hundreds of dogs in a day, according
to the DNR. The events are called “bear-baying’’ competitions.
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