DEL RIO, Texas – A Del Rio resident has been charged with taking a protected state threatened nongame animal after fatally shooting a black bear on Oct. 16.
According to Texas Parks and Wildlife officials, the suspect was charged on Monday in the Val Verde County Justice Court, Precinct 3.
Black bears have a protected status in Texas because they are a threatened species and it’s against the law to hunt, harass or kill them.
A news release from TPWD officials on Oct. 20 notes that bear sightings are continuing to crop up in the west and southwestern regions of Texas, thanks to successful black bear conservation efforts over the last two decades.
Also in October, another bear was spotted on the roof of a home in Sanderson, Texas eating pecans from the tree of a local resident.
TPWD officials said when a bear is sighted in residential areas they employ bear hazing procedures “which often include making loud noises, and in some cases, shooting non-lethal flash rounds, paintball rounds or rubber buckshot rounds at the bears” in an effort to scare the animals away from residential areas and into more wildland environments.
KSAT reached out the Val Verde County Attorney’s office for comment.
Violations for killing a black bear in Texas include penalties of up to $10,000, added civil restitution fines, jail time and loss of all hunting privileges.