New Mexico Bear Shot - Has to Be Euthanized

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The Department of Game and Fish would like to know who illegally shot and wounded a bear in July or early August, resulting in the bear having to be euthanized.

Officers believe the bear was shot with a large-caliber handgun in or near Raton. The crippled bear was tranquilized Sept. 2 and taken to the Wildlife Center in Espanola, where veterinarians euthanized it because its wounds were so severe.

Attempting to shoot a bear within the Raton city limits is illegal, as is killing or attempting to kill a bear out of season or without a hunting license. While property owners have the right to protect themselves or their property, other, safer means of dealing with problem wildlife are preferred. Officers also emphasized that shooting firearms in town is much more dangerous than any threat posed by a bear, and a wounded bear is a much greater threat to the community.

The Department offers rewards for information that leads to the arrest or charges against wildlife law violators. Please call toll-free, (800) 432-4263 if you have any information regarding this or any other wildlife crime. Callers can remain anonymous and receive $250 for information about cases involving bears.