The Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the arrow shooting of a black bear cub in the Moatsville area. The West Virginia Natural Resources Police in Preston County is investigating the case.

Heather Severt, West Virginia state director for the HSUS, said: “Shooting a defenseless cub and leaving the animal injured and suffering is unacceptable. The person who recklessly shot this baby bear must be held accountable for his or her actions. We applaud the West Virginia Natural Resources Police for seeking justice for this abhorrent act.”

The Case: On Oct. 23, a black bear cub was located near Sinclair Road and Mount Zion Lane in the Moatsville area. The cub, who had been shot with an arrow, was injured and had to be euthanized.

A Serious Crime: It is illegal to shoot at or kill a bear weighing less than 75 pounds or to kill any cub accompanied by another bear, regardless of weight. A first offense violation is punishable by a fine up to $5,000 and/or up to 100 days in jail, and suspension of hunting and fishing licenses for two years.

Ben Callison, president of The Trust, said: “Once again, we have a poaching crime that defies our common sense of decency. Under no circumstance could a bear cub, as small as this innocent victim, be mistaken for a legal target. Clearly, this criminal killing was a deliberate act of cruelty, and one that should raise concern among all law-abiding citizens. We must work together to ensure any and all who are found to have been involved are held fully accountable for their depraved actions. Protecting wildlife from acts of cruelty is crucial to maintaining a civilized society.”

The Investigators: The West Virginia Natural Resources Police in Preston County is investigating this case. Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact the District 1 Farmington office at 304-825-6787 or message the Natural Resources Police on Facebook. Resources: the HSUS and the Trust work with state and federal wildlife agencies to offer rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of suspected poachers. Other services include assistance with internet wildlife trafficking investigations, donation of robotic decoys and forensic equipment, funds to support wildlife K-9 programs, outreach to prosecutors to encourage vigorous prosecution of poachers and legislative work to strengthen penalties for poaching.

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