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.
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.
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.
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