STOLEN BEAR CUB DIES

Release Date: 03/03/2008

A black bear cub that was taken from his mother's nest died of starvation on Saturday, March 1.


On Saturday morning an anonymous call came in to the Krotz Springs police station from an individual wanting to turn over a bear cub, but refusing to give a name or more information.  This call led officials to search under the Atchafalya River bridge where the cub was found wrapped in a towel near death. 


Officials contacted the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) immediately, at which time LDWF Biologist Maria Davidson retrieved the cub and sought emergency veterinary care.  Attempts to save the cub were unsuccessful and it died Saturday night.  A necropsy revealed the cub died of starvation. 


"The cub was obviously in the possession of these individuals for several days before they called the police," stated Davidson.  "This was a senseless death that could have been easily avoided." 


Davidson further reiterated to never assume a bear cub found in the wild has been abandoned by its mother.  "If the female runs off as you approach, she will return as soon as you leave the area," Davidson said.  "It is extremely rare for a female bear to abandon her cubs. 


Davidson said if anybody has any concerns for wildlife, they should first call and report the incident to LDWF.  Removing a cub from a nest is a state and federal crime, and in this instance led to this cub's death.


Witnesses have provided a description of the truck and persons that left the cub.  If anybody has any information regarding this incident, please call Operation Game Thief at 1-800-442-2511.  Cash rewards are offered for information leading to the arrest of any individuals harming a black bear, and callers will remain anonymous.


EDITORS: For more information, contact Maria Davidson at 225-765-2385 (work) or 225-931-3061 (cell).



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