August 8, 2011
Reward Offered in Black Bear Killing in Florida
Illegal killing of a black bear in Collier County prompts reward offer of up to $2,500.
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 Collier County.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, on July 22, the body of a dead black bear was found wrapped in a tarp at the end of 12th Avenue N.E and Desoto Blvd in the Golden Gate Estates area. The bear appeared to have a gunshot wound to the body.
“Poachers callously disregard the laws in place to protect wildlife,” said Jennifer Hobgood, Florida state director for The HSUS. “The Humane Society of the United States thanks the FWC for working tirelessly to bring these criminals to justice.”
Black bears are a threatened species in Florida and killing one is a third degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and fines up to $5,000.
- Wildlife officials estimate that for every wild animal killed legally — tens of millions of animals per year — another is killed illegally.
- Every year, thousands of poachers are arrested nationwide; however, it is estimated that only 1 percent to 5 percent of poached animals come to the attention of 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 case should contact the FWC's Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922. Callers may remain anonymous.
The HSUS and HSWLT work to curb poaching across the country. Visit humanesociety.org/poaching for more information.
Media Contact: Stephanie Twining, 301-258-1491, firstname.lastname@example.org