Did Bear Poachers Retaliate?

Black bearEarlier this month 11 defendants were sentenced as the result of a four-year undercover investigation of bear poaching in North Carolina and Georgia. The effort, known as Operation Something Bruin, involved two state and three federal agencies.

Of those defendants, only one was actually charged with poaching a black bear. Read the press release on the Operation Something Bruin website.

The Asheville (NC) Citizen-Times reports that authorities are investigating a bear that was killed, painted with the words “Whats Bruin” on its head and paws, and dumped in Buncombe County, NC. The authorities believe the phrase refers to the investigation, the paper says.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service and the US Forest Service are offering a $3,000 reward for information that leads to a conviction, the Citizen-Times reports, while the NC Wildlife Federation put up an additional $17,000.

Read the Asheville Citizen-Times article, here.
Read the Operation Something Bruin press release, here.

Photo: Just a random black bear. Courtesy of the US Fish and Wildlife Service

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