Two men have been charged on suspicion of shooting dead a bear, removing the satellite tracking collar, and burying the animal in an attempt to hide the evidence in a remote mountain district in Nantou County earlier this month.
Forestry Bureau staff monitoring the bear’s movements via a satellite tracking device went searching for the animal after the signal disappeared on May 6 in the vicinity of the Wujie communitiy in Renai Township. After searching the area where the signal disappeared, on May 9 the bear was found buried in a shallow grave. The satellite tracking collar had been removed and was missing.
A forensic examination found that the bear had been shot in the left shoulder. The bullet had passed through the chest cavity and exited from the right shoulder. The bear’s skull was also broken, and metal fragments were found in the skull cavity.
A police investigation identified two suspects via a traffic monitor at the intersection of the industrial road leading to the burial site. When interrogated, the two men, named Tian and Ma, said that they were hunting at night and didn’t realize that the animal they had targeted was a bear until after it was shot.
Police seized a homemade shotgun, bullets, and mobile phones as evidence.
Tian and Ma were sent to the District Prosecutor to face charges of violating the Wildlife Conservation Act. Prosecutors set bail for Tian and Ma at NT$30,000 each.
The Formosan Black Bear that was shot had been caught in snares and rescued several times. Most recently, the bear had been released on April 12 in Xinyi District, Nantou County after being rescued from a trap in Taitung County.
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