The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $7,500 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person responsible for cruelly shooting and killing a black bear near St. Mary Parish in Louisiana.

The Case: On November 9, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) agents were alerted to a dead black bear off Log Bayou Road near Centerville. Agents responded to the scene and collected the 350-pound adult male bear, who had been shot in the head. A necropsy revealed that the bear was shot with a rifle a few days prior.

Louisiana law does not allow the hunting of black bears. The LDWF stresses the importance of public education so that humans and bears can safely and effectively coexist.

Animal Cruelty: Securing the serious attention and engagement of law enforcement, prosecutors and residents in cases involving allegations of cruelty to animals is an essential step in protecting the whole community. The connection between animal cruelty and human violence is well documented. Studies show a correlation between animal cruelty and many other crimes, from narcotics and firearms violations to battery and sexual assault.

“Louisiana black bears are only now recovering from nearly being wiped out by overhunting and habitat loss. It is appalling and heartbreaking that someone would callously shoot this bear,” said Julia Breaux, Louisiana senior state director for the Humane Society of the United States. “We hope our reward helps find the person who committed this despicable act against our treasured state mammal.”

Investigation: The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is investigating this case. Penalties for illegally killing a Louisiana black bear are up to $950 in fines and 120 days in jail as well as up to a $10,000 civil restitution fine.

Anyone with information regarding this illegal killing should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or use LADWF’s tip411 program. To use the tip411 program, residents can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the “LADWF Tips” iPhone and Android app from the Apple App Store or Google Play free of charge.

Resources: The Humane Society of the United States’ Animal Cruelty Campaign raises public awareness and educates communities about the connection between animal cruelty and human violence while providing a variety of resources and support to law enforcement agencies, social work professionals, educators, legislators and families. We offer rewards in animal cruelty cases across the country and works to strengthen laws against animal cruelty.

The Humane Society of the United States increased the reward offered in this case to $7,500 thanks to a generous commitment from a board member.

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