The illegal killing of a black bear in the Penobscot County town of LaGrange is under investigation by the Maine Warden Service.
The warden service late Monday received a complaint of a bear found in Dead Stream in a remote area off South LaGrange Road in LaGrange, according to Warden Lt. Aaron Cross.
“It appears that the adult male bear was likely killed illegally and dumped at that location,” Cross said. “If that is the case, not only is it illegal to kill a black bear in April, it is a senseless waste of a prized natural resource in the state of Maine.”
Cross said that because it’s an active investigation, wardens are not releasing any further details about the killing of the bear at this time.
“Maine Game Wardens will continue to investigate and analyze evidence to determine the circumstances of the incident,” Cross said. “We also often reach out to the public for assistance in these types of investigations to provide information that may help identify the violator(s). Our staff will work tirelessly to uncover any information that is relevant and we appreciate the public collaboration in these situations.”
Greg Sirpis is chair of Maine Operation Game Thief, a nonprofit organization that partners with the Warden Service by providing an anonymous tip line for the public to report poaching violations across the entire state.
Sirpis was contacted on Monday by Warden Sgt. Joshua Beal, who serves as a liaison to Maine Operation Game Thief, about the situation. Sirpis said the bear appeared to have been shot at least twice before being thrown off a bridge into the stream.
Maine Operation Game Thief is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for killing the bear.
“Because of the viciousness of the incident, I wanted to go heavy with a reward offer so that we could get somebody to come forward,” Sirpis said.
Anyone with information is urged to call the confidential Operation Game Thief tip line at 1-800-253-7887.