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Illegally shot bear euthanized in West Michigan, leaving behind three cubs

 This map shows where a Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officer found a bear that had been shot illegally in Oceana County.
This map shows where a Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officer found a bear that had been shot illegally in Oceana County. (WJRT)
Published: Jun. 12, 2020 at 5:09 PM EDT
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(6/12/2020) - Authorities euthanized a bear that was hot illegally in Oceana County this week, leaving three cubs without a mother.

The bear was found in Ruby Creek near Riverbend Road in Branch Township around 8:15 a.m. Thursday.

A Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officer found the bear struggling to get out of the water, but its hind legs were not working. A wildlife biologist examined the bear and decided it should be euthanized due to the extent of its injuries.

Conservation officers found the three orphaned cubs up in a nearby tree. They to a wildlife rehabilitator for treatment.

Authorities believe the adult bear was shot sometime on 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 on who shot the bear is asked to call or text Michigan's Report All Poaching hotline at 1-800-292-7800. Information can be left anonymously and rewards may be available.

The hotline passed out $9,700 worth of rewards for information that led to the arrest and conviction of poachers in 2019.

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