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January 24, 2012

Reward Offered for Bear Killing in Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area

The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for illegally killing a black bear in Scott County, Tenn. The HSUS and HSWLT reward adds to an existing $500 from the National Park Service.

According to the National Park Service, a female adult bear was found dead in the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area on Thanksgiving Day. It is believed that the bear was the mother of two cubs who would likely not survive without their mother.

“Whoever is responsible for this illegal killing took the life of one bear and likely left two orphaned cubs to die a slow death,” said Leighann McCollum, the Tennessee state director for The HSUS. “The Humane Society of the United States applauds the National Park Service for their efforts to find those responsible for this tragic crime.”

Bear hunting is illegal within the recreation area and on surrounding lands.


  • Wildlife officials estimate that tens of millions of animals are poached each year.
  • It is estimated that only 1 to 5 percent of poached animals are discovered by law enforcement.
  • Poachers injure or kill wildlife anytime, anywhere and sometimes do so in particularly cruel ways. Wildlife officials report that poachers often commit other crimes as well.
  • The HSUS and HSWLT work with state and federal wildlife agencies to offer rewards of $2,500 for information leading to arrest and conviction of suspected poachers.

The Investigators:

Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact Big South Fork NRRA at (423) 569-9778 or use their tip line number at (423) 569-2404, extension 505.

The HSUS and HSWLT work to curb poaching across the country. Visit humanesociety.org/poaching for more information. 

The HSUS Media Contact: Stephanie Twining, 301-258-1491, stwining@humanesociety.org

Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your Apple or Android device by searching for our “HumaneTV” app.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.

Since 1993 the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, alone or in partnership with other conservation groups, has participated in the protection of more than 1.8 million acres of wildlife habitat in 38 states, including 165 in Tennessee, and eight foreign countries. On all properties owned by the Trust or protected by the Trust's conservation easement, both here and abroad, we prohibit recreational and commercial hunting and trapping and restrict logging and development. The Trust's commitment to these principles will never change as we continue to assist caring landowners to make their property permanent, safe homes for wildlife. Join our online community at wildlifelandtrust.org.



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