Prosecutors consider charges in bear shooting
May 17, 2011
By Warren Kagarise
The investigation into a November bear shooting is complete and the King County Prosecutor’s Office is reviewing the case and should decide whether to file charges soon, spokesman Dan Donohoe said.
State wildlife agents tranquilized and captured the bear Nov. 11 after a homeowner reported a trapped black bear in a creek near Highlands Drive Northeast and Southeast Black Nugget Road. PAWS veterinarians later euthanized the bear cub, because a bullet left the animal paralyzed.
State Department of Fish and Wildlife investigators identified the person believed to be responsible for shooting the black bear by late November, but did not release additional details. Investigators said community members in the neighborhood offered tips during the search for a suspect.
The state classifies unlawful hunting of big game as a felony. Upon conviction, the state revokes all hunting licenses or tags, and suspends the violator’s hunting privileges for 10 years. The penalty also includes a $2,000 fine.
The state classifies the black bear as a game animal, but killing a bear in self-defense, or to defend someone else, should be reasonable and justified. The bear must pose a serious threat.