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Reward Offered in Bear Killing in Murray County, Ga.

The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for illegally killing a black bear in Murray County, Ga. The offer adds to an existing reward from Turn in Poachers, Inc.

The Case:

According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, sometime around the last week of February, a female black bear was killed illegally in the Peoples Lake area on Buck Creek Road. The poaching took place on United States Forest Service property. The bear was killed while hibernating in a den with her newborn cubs. 

It is suspected that those responsible for the poaching may have also taken the bear cubs. Investigators believe that the perpetrator or perpetrators, along with the cubs, may be in the Blue Ridge or Epworth area of Fannin County, Ga. 

“This tragic crime demonstrates the blatant disregard poachers have for the laws intended to protect wildlife,” said Cheryl McAuliffe, Georgia state director for The HSUS. “The Humane Society of the United States applauds the Georgia DNR for aggressively pursuing this investigation.”

The individual or individuals responsible could face charges including killing a black bear out of season, an aggravated misdemeanor with fines up to $1,500.


  • Wildlife officials estimate that for every wild animal killed legally — tens of millions of animals per year — another is killed illegally.
  • Bears are sometimes poached for their parts which can fetch thousands of dollars on the black market. 
  • Every year, thousands of poachers are arrested nationwide; however, it is estimated that only 1 percent to 5 percent of poached animals are caught by law enforcement.
  • Poachers injure or kill wildlife anytime, anywhere and sometimes do so in particularly cruel ways. Wildlife officials report that poachers often commit other crimes as well.
  • The HSUS and HSWLT work with state and federal wildlife agencies to offer rewards of $2,500 for information leading to arrest and conviction of suspected poachers.

The Investigators:

Anyone with information about this poaching case is asked to call Cpl. Casey Jones or Sgt. John Vanlandingham via the Turn in Poachers hotline at 1-800-241-4113 or the Georgia DNR Region 1 Law Enforcement office at 706-624-1367. Callers may remain anonymous.

Turn in Poachers (TIP) Inc., is a conservation organization whose purpose is to serve as a poaching deterrent.  TIP is a partnership of private sportsmen/women, concerned citizens and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife Resources Division working to foster conservation. Easy access to DNR's Wildlife Resources Division through a 24-hour toll free "TIP hotline" (1-800-241-4113) helps citizens report wildlife related crimes. TIP provides funds in the form of rewards ($100 or more for information that leads to the arrest of the violator) to fight poaching.  TIP is not anti-hunting, it is anti-poaching and supports conservation through encouraging the public to get involved and report poachers.

Visit georgiawildlife.com/node/452 for more information.

The HSUS and HSWLT work to curb poaching across the country. Visit humanesociety.org/poaching for more information. 


The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.

Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching “HumaneTV” in the App Store. 

Since 1993 the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, alone or in partnership with other conservation groups, has participated in the protection of more than 1.8 million acres of wildlife habitat in 38 states, including 240 acres in Georgia, and eight foreign countries. On all properties owned by the Trust or protected by the Trust's conservation easement, both here and abroad, we prohibit recreational and commercial hunting and trapping and restrict logging and development. The Trust's commitment to these principles will never change as we continue to assist caring landowners to make their property permanent, safe homes for wildlife. Join our online community at wildlifelandtrust.org.

Follow the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust on Twitter