Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area Superintendent Niki Nicholas announced today that a $500 reward is being offered to anyone that provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons involved in the illegal killing of a black bear in the Big South Fork NRRA. The adult female bear was left in the woods and found by local hunters on Thanksgiving Day. There is no legal hunting season for bears in the Big South Fork NRRA or any lands surrounding the National Area.
The bear is believed to be the same female with two cubs that had been frequently seen in the same general area by many visitors to the park. The cubs are helpless without their mother and are not likely to survive due to their age. This poaching incident has essentially caused the death of three bears.
Anyone who has information about the incident is encouraged to call the National Area at (423) 569-9778 or use the tip line number at (423) 569-2404, extension 505.