A bear carcass marked in white paint with a message seemingly taunting law enforcement officials was dumped onto a road in Buncombe County. The bear was discovered last week with “WHATS BRUIN?” written across the head and “w-h-a-t-s” across the claws on the right paw and “b-r-u-i-n” across the claws on the left paw.
In February, state and federal wildlife officials made numerous arrests from a four-year undercover investigation in North Carolina and Georgia deemed “Operation Something Bruin.”
The state is currently prosecuting cases in Haywood County for arrests made as a result of the operation. Ten defendants were convicted earlier this month in U.S. District Court on federal charges stemming from the undercover investigation.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and the Wildlife Federation are offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this latest case. “We feel strongly that this malicious and cowardly act of illegal activity has no place in N.C.,” said Tim Gestwicki, CEO of the N.C. Wildlife Federation. “We are providing these resources to underscore the seriousness we place on the poaching and outright desecration of this animal.”
Anyone with information pertaining to this or other wildlife violations should call 1.800.662.7137. Callers may remain anonymous.