Officers with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division, have charged a juvenile with violating the Alabama Black Bear Protection Act in Mobile County.
A report of a dead black bear found in the Creola area of Mobile County led to an investigation, which determined the bear was killed by the juvenile at night. Evidence indicated that the bear was killed shortly before Thanksgiving and the carcass was then dumped in the woods nearby.
A violation of the Black Bear Protection Act is a Class A misdemeanor. Penalties may include up to one year in jail and fines of up to $5,000 for a first offense. Additionally, any weapons, vehicles or other equipment used in the commission of the offense are subject to condemnation. Hunting privileges may be revoked for three years.
Black bears are found in very limited numbers in Alabama and are seldom seen. They feed mostly on vegetation, small invertebrates and carrion and do not pose a threat to humans in most circumstances. “The Black Bear Protection Act was passed by the legislature to protect this unique mammal which is an important part of Alabama’s natural heritage,” said Conservation Chief Enforcement Officer Allan Andress.
Andress praised the efforts of his officers for successfully concluding such a challenging case and expressed appreciation for assistance they received from several concerned citizens in the community. “Community support is essential to wildlife enforcement,” he said.
The Alabama Wildlife Federation is planning to issue a reward to one citizen involved with the investigation as part of the Gamewatch program. Gamewatch is a joint venture of the Alabama Wildlife Federation and the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division. The program encourages concerned citizens to report violations, and rewards are available for information that leads to the arrest and prosecution of wildlife violators. Individuals may call 1-800-272-GAME to report violations 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Cell phone users may text the keyword “GAMEWATCH” followed by the tip to the number 847411.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.