State wildlife officials are investigating a possible poaching case in which someone removed the gallbladder of a black bear -- which can sell for thousands of dollars in Asia -- after the animal was struck and killed this week by a car in the Lake Tahoe area. The Times' Jia-Rui Chong reports:
The animal was found with its groin area shaved and gallbladder missing early Tuesday, less than 10 hours after a motorist reported striking the bear and California Highway Patrol officers moved it off the roadway. A surgical glove was discovered next to the bear's mutilated carcass.
"It appears that someone knew what they were doing," said Capt. Mark Lucero of the Department of Fish and Game's Northern Enforcement District.
It is illegal to take parts of dead wildlife left on the side of the road, Lucero said.
"A second violation would be if the gall was marketed on the black market," he added.
The penalty for trafficking in bear parts, a felony, is a $10,000 fine and a minimum six months to one year in prison.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Lake Tahoe Bear Poached for Gall Bladder
Sounds like a crime of opportunity. Beware the disturbing photo.