FWC Seeks Information on Bear Killed in Osceola National Forest

FWC Seeks Information on Bear Killed in Osceola National Forest

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Osceola National Forest, FL – Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officials are requesting the public’s help in determining who killed a Florida black bear in Osceola National Forest.

A report came into FWC about a dead bear, and Officer Bret Gill responded. The adult male black bear weighed approximately 250 pounds. The animal had been shot with a firearm and was found in the Hog Pen area off Forest Road 241.

The hunting of black bears in Florida was discontinued in 1994. The Florida black bear is now listed as threatened in the state, except in Columbia and Baker counties, according to Capt. Roy Brown, area supervisor.

“It is illegal to hunt bears in the state and is a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500 and/or up to 60 days in jail,” Brown said.

Investigators would like to question several people of interest in the case. There were two white men seen in the area driving a white or silver, late-model Toyota pickup and others in a black Chevrolet Z71 pickup with two hunting club-type decals on the back window.

“The investigation into who committed this crime is continuing, and a reward is being offered if the information leads to an arrest,” Brown said.

“Anyone with information can call the toll-free Wildlife Alert number at 1-888-404-3922 to report the crime,” Brown said. “Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 if the information leads to an arrest.”

People with information can also report the crime online at MyFWC.com/law/alert .

Media Contact: Karen Parker (386) 758-0525

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