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Charges issued after dismembered bear carcasses discovered in community

<i>WLOS</i><br/>Help Asheville Bears is offering a $5
Help Asheville Bears is offering a $5

By Kari Barrows

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    WOODFIN, North Carolina (WLOS) — Wildlife officials have provided a few updates in an investigation surrounding mutilated black bears found in one small Western North Carolina community.

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) told News 13 on Friday that charges had been issued in the case of three illegally killed bears found in Woodfin in late November.

A spokesperson for NCWRC said they aren’t able to share more details “due to the ongoing nature of this investigation,” but did say in an email that community responses helped lead officials to a suspect.

“The community response was incredible, and we are appreciative of the information given to Help Asheville Bears that led us to the suspect,” NC Wildlife said.

Residents on Moore Street off Brookdale Avenue in the Woodfin community made the gruesome discovery on Nov. 26, locating the mutilated bodies of three bears.

“There were the bodies, then the paws were cut off, laying by the bodies and a bucket with intestines,” community member Harry Reese Jr. told News 13 on Dec. 1. “It’s just scary.”

In a statement, a NC Wildlife Resources Commission spokesperson wrote that two officers responded to the scene. The first on Nov. 30, a second on Dec. 1.

The spokesperson added, “The carcasses were dismembered, the paws were left on the scene, and the meat was removed to the extent that the bears’ weight nor the cause of death could be determined. This is an active investigation.”

Help Asheville Bears has been offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those involved.

NCWRC said it will be working with the Buncombe County District Attorney’s Office “until the case is adjudicated.”

Wildlife violations can be reported by calling 800-662-7137, NCWRC said.

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