Local News

Animal group offers $10,000 reward for info on person who shot, killed sleeping bear

Posted June 26, 2020 7:31 a.m. EDT
Updated July 6, 2020 9:52 a.m. EDT

— An animal advocacy group is offering a $10,000 reward to anyone who tells them who shot and killed a black bear in Washington, North Carolina, in June.

"The reward can hopefully produce the monster who did this," Help Asheville Bears, or HAB, posted on Facebook. "It takes an evil person to do this. Those responsible for this cruelty will become the hunted, as HAB and our followers want to expose who they are and stop them from such cruelty again."

On June 25, a black bear wandered into a Washington neighborhood and fell asleep. The bear -- estimated to be between 250 to 300 pounds -- was seen on video sleeping behind a home near Van Norden Street and Fort Drive.

Around 5 p.m., North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission Officer Ryan Biggerstaff said his office got a call that shots had been fired. When they arrived, they found the bear dead.

According to N.C. Wildlife, it's mating season, and young male bears are getting "kicked out" by their mothers and are moving out on their own to make a new home and find a female.

"They often don’t know where they’re going and sometimes end up in urban areas," N.C. Wildlife said.

If you see a bear in an urban area, it is just passing through. Steer clear of the bear and do not harm it.

Six 9-millimeter bullet casings were recovered at the scene of the shooting. Biggerstaff said no one in the community is talking to him about what happened.

The person responsible could be charged with a misdemeanor and faces thousands of dollars in fines and court costs.

NC Wildlife is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest about what happened to the bear.

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