Louisiana black bear killed near Epps

A West Carroll Parish farmer reported a dead Louisiana black bear yesterday (April 8), and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents are asking for help in discovering who killed the animal.

“The loss of these animals is regrettable and our Enforcement Division is working aggressively to locate the poacher responsible for this crime,” LDWF Large Carnivore Program Manager Maria Davidson said.

Sgt. Scott Matthews examined the decomposed bear near La. Hwy. 17 a few miles south of Epps, and determined the bear had been shot with a rifle.

Killing a bear violates state law and the federal Endangered Species Act, and violators are subject to penalties of up to $50,000 and six months in jail. In addition, a civil restitution fine of $10,000 per bear will be imposed on anyone convicted of killing a black bear.

Davidson said this shooting, which brings the number of killed black bears to five in the past six months, is counterproductive to the ultimate goal of the animal’s listing on the Endangered Species List.

“The department is working to remove the Louisiana black bear from the Endangered Species List,” Davidson said.

Anyone with any information regarding this or any other wildlife crime should call Louisiana Operation Game Thief 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 also remain anonymous.

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