Poached bear leaves behind three cubs; DNR seeking tips

Contact: Lt. Joe Molnar, 231-922-6061
Agency: Natural Resources

June 12, 2020

Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officers in northwest Michigan are seeking information regarding a bear that was illegally shot in Oceana County earlier this week. The bear was euthanized due to the extent of its injuries, leaving behind three cubs which were taken to a wildlife rehabilitator.

Following a call to the DNR’s Report All Poaching hotline, conservation officers found the bear around 8:15 a.m. Thursday in the Ruby Creek, located near Riverbend Road, northwest of the Ruby Creek Tavern in Branch Township.

When conservation officers arrived, they found the bear near the edge of the creek attempting to get out of the water. The bear’s three cubs had climbed into a nearby tree. Due to a gunshot wound, the bear was unable to move its rear legs. A wildlife biologist examined the bear and determined it needed to be euthanized.

Officers estimate the bear was shot Tuesday or Wednesday.

"It’s a shame this bear had to be euthanized,” said Lt. Joe Molnar. “The bear suffered needlessly, while trying to take care of her cubs. If you or anyone you know has information that can help us solve this crime, we want to hear from you.”

Anyone with information regarding this poaching incident can call or text the RAP hotline at 800-292-7800, available 24/7. Information can be left anonymously. Monetary rewards are available for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of violators. During 2019, more than $9,700 was awarded for information that led to the arrest and conviction of poachers.

Michigan conservation officers are fully commissioned state peace officers who provide natural resources protection, ensure recreational safety and protect residents by providing general law enforcement duties and lifesaving operations in the communities they serve. Learn more at Michigan.gov/ConservationOfficers.

/Note to editors: Accompanying photos are available below for download. Caption information follows.

Bear: A healthy Michigan black bear. (This is not the bear that was euthanized.)

Map: A map showing Ruby Creek, near Riverbend Road, northwest of the Ruby Creek Tavern in Branch Township (Oceana County), where Michigan DNR conservation officers found a black bear that had been illegally shot. Anyone with information can call or text the DNR’s Report All Poaching hotline at 800-292-7800./