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Rewards set for black bear killings

The Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana authorities are offering $14,500 in rewards for leads in the deaths of two Louisiana black bears shot a few miles and nearly six months apart.

Investigators don’t know whether a bear found Nov. 9 near Centerville and one found May 17 south of nearby Franklin were shot by the same person, the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said in a news release Monday.

Ballistics results so far indicate only that each bear was shot by a rifle, but not the caliber or other details, Adam Einck, enforcement spokesman for the department, said in an email.

Both adult males were killed in St. Mary Parish. Each was killed a few days before its carcass was found, the news release said. Rewards for tips leading to a conviction of the person or people involved in the November killing total $8,500. A $6,000 reward, announced in June for information leading to conviction in the earlier killing, still stands.

Einck said a tipster might be able to collect both rewards if the same person or people shot both bears.

Both rewards are being offered by the department’s Operation Game Thief, the Humane Society of the United States, and the Acadiana chapter of a hunting organization called Safari Club International.

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