SEBRING, Fla. — Editor's note: The video above is from a previous story.
A man from Sebring faces multiple charges after a Florida black bear and one of her cubs were found shot and killed.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says its investigation began Oct. 26 when FWC officers and biologists were called to the Sun 'n Lake community where an adult female bear and one cub had been shot and killed.
One uninjured cub was also found and was safely trapped. FWC says biologists later released the cub into a "more suitable habitat." Another cub was seen but FWC says efforts to trap and release that cub were unsuccessful.
“Our officers work tirelessly to protect Florida’s natural resources and this egregious violation serves as a reminder of why our work is so important,” said Col. Roger Young, FWC Division of Law Enforcement, in a statement. “The deliberate shooting of these two bears is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
Following an investigation, FWC says 43-year-old John Falango of Sebring faces multiple charges related to the killings.
He is charged with unlawful taking of bear during closed season, take/attempt to take black bear without authorization or permit, take/attempt to take bear cub or bear with one or more bear cubs and take/attempt to take bear by illegal method.
“I greatly appreciate the efforts of our law enforcement officers and biologists who worked diligently on this case,” FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto said in a statement. “The FWC provides numerous resources and information to the public on how to coexist with bears in Florida, therefore making this heinous act unacceptable.”
If you see illegal activity related to wildlife, you can anonymously report it to the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.