The following is a news release from the LDWF:
A West Carroll Parish farmer reported a dead Louisiana black bear to Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents on Thursday, April 8.
LDWF Sgt. Scott Matthews examined the decomposed bear near La. Hwy. 17, a few miles south of Epps. During the initial investigation, Sgt. Matthews determined the bear had been shot with a rifle.
LDWF Large Carnivore Program Manager Maria Davidson noted, "The department is working to remove the Louisiana black bear from the Endangered Species List. The loss of these animals is regrettable and our Enforcement Division is working aggressively to locate the poacher responsible for this crime."
Anyone with any information regarding this or any other wildlife crime should call Louisiana Operation Game Thief, Inc. at 1-800-442-2511. Cash rewards up to $5,000 are offered for information leading to the apprehension of individuals harming a black bear. Callers may also remain anonymous.
Citizens are reminded that killing a bear is a violation of both state law and the federal Endangered Species Act. Violators are subject to penalties of up to $50,000 and six months in jail. In addition, a civil restitution fine of $10,000 per bear will be imposed on anyone convicted of killing a black bear in Louisiana.