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Shooter who killed black bear near Lake Tahoe is sought

The California Department of Fish and Game is searching for the person who shot a California black bear near Lake Tahoe that residents had come to know as Sunny.

Game Warden Patrick Foy said the bear was well-known to locals, but someone shot it at close range with a shotgun July 30. The  bear bled to death and was found on the beach.

 “It wasn’t reported, so it wasn’t like someone shot it after it broke into their house,” Foy said.

The Lake Tahoe Wall of Shame group, the Humane Society and the Department of Fish and Game are offering rewards totaling $6,500 for information leading to an arrest.

Foy said the department has a person of interest in the case.  But that person left his home, hired a lawyer and refuses to speak with investigators, Foy said. As of now, the department’s case isn’t strong enough for an arrest, Foy said.

Foy said he believes it’s unlikely the bear was shot in self-defense.

"If we have a bear that shows up dead. and it has a bullet hole in its butt, and no one called us, then it’s going to be hard to prove it was self-defense," he said.

 Anyone with information is asked to call the Department of Fish and Game at (888) 334-2258.

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-- Weston Phippen

 
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