Thursday, February 17, 2011

Reward Increased in Endangered Florida Bear Shooting

From the FWC
Reward Increased in Florida Bear Shooting

The FWC reports that wildlife authorities are hoping a larger reward will lead them to whoever shot and killed a large black bear last Friday on the grounds of the closed Shoal River Golf Course at Crestview.

Florida's Wildlife Alert Reward Association is offering up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the shooter. Now, the Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Land Trust have stepped forward, offering an additional $2,500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for the killing.

A resident at 306 Shoal River Drive reported hearing a single gunshot on Feb. 11 at about 4:30 a.m. across from his home. It was a place where the homeowner has been feeding deer for some time. Responding officers of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) found a dead, 200-pound male bear. The bear had been shot, apparently with a rifle.

The bear was the same one FWC biologists moved Nov. 18 from Fort Walton Beach to Eglin Air Force Base, after it had been shot and wounded by a homeowner. The homeowner, who wasn't charged, feared the bear was about to attack his dog.

"Someone knows who did this, and we're asking that they step forward and help us solve this," said Lt. Mark Hollinhead, FWC supervisor for Okaloosa and north Walton counties. Hollinhead said anyone with information should call the FWC's Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.

Callers can remain anonymous.
Stan Kirkland, 850-265-3676

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