The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is asking for the public’s help in determining who killed a Florida black bear near Shady Grove in Taylor County.
A report came in to FWC Sunday about a dead bear, and Officer Andy Bickel responded. The sub-adult female black bear weighed approximately 70 pounds. The animal had been shot with a firearm and was found on a single-lane bridge on Donaldson Bridge Road.
Black bear hunting in Florida was discontinued in 1994. The Florida black bear is a threatened species in this state.
“It is illegal to hunt bears in the state. It is a third-degree felony, punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and/or up to five years in jail,” Bickel said.
Investigators are interested in any information the public may have in the case.
“The investigation into who perpetrated this crime is continuing, and a reward is being offered if the information leads to an arrest,” said Bickel.
“Anyone with information can call the toll-free Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922 to report the crime,” Bickel said. “Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 if the information leads to an arrest.”
Anyone with information can also report the crime online at MyFWC.com/law/alert/ or call Lt. Bruce Cooper at 850-672-0376.