A man who pleaded guilty to killing a Louisiana black bear has been sentenced to three years without hunting, a $3,000 fine and 300 hours of community service, reports the AP. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says U.S. District Judge Patrick J. Hanna sentenced 39-year-old Cory R. Ronsonet in Lafayette on Wednesday to three years of supervised probation, and says he cannot hunt while on probation.
Hanna said that if Ronsonet pays the fine and does the community service within six weeks, the probation will be made unsupervised. He pleaded guilty on Aug. 17 to violating the federal endangered species act. Louisiana black bears also are protected under state laws.
The wildlife department’s enforcement was told during the 2008-09 hunting season that someone had shot a black bear and stored its skin for future taxidermy. Division spokesman Adam Einck says that this past May, agents found a black bear skin and its decapitated head near a New Iberia subdivision. The department had tagged the bear in 2000, when it was estimated to be six years old. It was identified by the transponder, which was still in the hide. It lived mostly in the Weeks Island area of lower Iberia Parish, and the department says it had never received a nuisance call about that bear.