Second bear sighted in Ruston

The reward for information on the shooting death of a Louisiana black bear last month has been increased as a second bear was seen in Ruston Saturday.

Llanfair Drive residents saw a black bear foraging in their back yards Saturday afternoon about three weeks after a bear was found dead off Beacon Light Road.

Several homeowners captured short videos of the bear Saturday before he ran away.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is now offering a $6,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the May 12 killing of a bear that prowled Ruston neighborhoods for nearly a week.

It is illegal to kill Louisiana black bears. The state mammal was removed from the “threatened” list of the Endangered Species Act in 2016, but the species has not recovered to the point of implementing a hunting season.

Illegal killing of a Louisiana black bear brings a $900 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Restitution up to $10,000 may be imposed for the replacement value of the illegally taken black bear.

The initial reward for information in the case was set at $1,000.

The reward was boosted by a donation of $2,500 from the Humane Society of the U.S. and $2,500 from Safari Club International Acadiana Chapter.

Anyone with information regarding this illegal killing should call the Louisiana Operation Game Thief hotline at 1-800-442-2511 or use LDWF’s tip411 program. To use the tip411 program, citizens can text LADWF and their tip to 847411 or download the “LADWF Tips” iPhone and Android app from the Apple App Store or Google Play free of charge.

The hotline and the tip411 program are monitored 24 hours a day. Upon request, informants can remain anonymous.