Two bear cubs shot in northern ontario, one dead and the other severely injured
SUDBURY -- Ontario's Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is looking for the individuals who shot two bear cubs.
The first cub that was shot was located in the Smooth Rock Falls area at the end of July.
The second cub was shot in the Parry Sound District at the beginning of August.
After receiving calls from members of the public, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry called Bear With Us Centre for Bears located in Sprucedale, Ont.
For 28 years, the centre has been rehabilitating black bear cubs and injured bears in order to return them to the wild.
"The first cub, we called him 'Tuffy' that’s the little bear from Smooth Rock Falls. We call him Tuffy because he’s still alive," said Mike McIntosh, founder of Bear With Us Centre for Bears.
"They shot once, in the head. There’s other injuries to his face so we’re not sure if it’s from the bullet or something else."
The second cub came from Whitestone, Ont. and due to the severity of his injuries he unfortunately had to be euthanized.
"Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry got a call about this cub that was dragging itself around. Sadly, the little bear had been shot in the back, once through the spine, just ahead of the hips. He was dragging himself around because he was paralyzed," said McIntosh.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry says there are steep fines associated with this sort of act.
"Generally, charges would be looking into our hunting out of season, hunting without license, and abandoning an animal to spoil. The maximum fine possible under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act is $25,000, as well as six months in jail," said Gilles Desjardins, Staff Sergeant with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF).
"MNRF Conservation officers are currently investigating both cases."
McIntosh says Tuffy is blind in both eyes because of the bullet, but he’s hoping that will change in a month or two if the brain can heal itself.
An organization in North Carolina called Help Asheville Bears is now offering a $5,000 US reward per bear, for anyone who knows who committed this illegal act.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact conservation officer, Daryl Smith at (705) 272-7181 or make an anonymous call to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.