$5500 reward in deaths of 2 adult male Louisiana black bears
FRANKLIN, La. (AP) — Authorities announced Wednesday a $5,500 reward for information leading to the conviction of whoever shot and killed two Louisiana black bears.
Both bears were male adults. One of the bears was reported shot Feb. 14 in marshes off a canal in St. Mary Parish, and Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents who went to the scene found the second bear about 1 and 1/2 miles (2.4 kilometers) away, according to a statement.
Both bears were near the Humble Canal about 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of Franklin, and necropsies indicate that both probably were killed the weekend of Feb. 2-4, the agency said.
Neither bear was collared or tagged, and each weighed more than 300 pounds(more than 135 kilograms), Enforcement Division spokesman Adam Einck said Wednesday.
He said he could not comment about whether they were shot with the same weapon, or what kind of gun was used. “That might give away a little too much information,” Einck said.
The reward includes money from the Humane Society of the United States, the Acadiana Chapter of Safari Club International, the Safari Club International Foundation and the state’s Operation Game Thief program.
Louisiana black bears are the largest of 16 subspecies of American black bears, with adult males ranging up to 600 pounds (270 kilograms).
Although the subspecies was removed from the list of threatened animals in 2016, it is still illegal to hunt them.
Conviction on a citation of killing a Louisiana black bear can bring up to 120 days in jail and a $950 fine, plus up to $10,000 in civil restitution for each bear’s value.