DA's office: Why Sevier County bear killer wasn't charged

DA's office: Why Sevier County bear killer wasn't charged

Updated:

COBBLY KNOB (WATE) - A man who shot a mother bear to death leaving her three cubs to fend for themselves won't face charges, according to the district attorney general's office.

Investigators say a man and his dog were in their home in Sevier County's Cobbly Nob community when he said his dog alerted on something outside. When the man opened the door, he said the bear acted aggressively so he got a gun and shot at the bear.

The man told investigators he didn't believe he hit the bear because it ran away.

The bear was found dead two days later and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency was called.

TWRA says it turned over evidence to the district attorney's office, which declined to file charges.

District Attorney General James Dunn said they couldn't file animal cruelty charges because bears aren't in the class of animals protected by state statute.

Dunn also said the man's actions didn't fit the description of hunting or poaching charges, plus animals threatening people or their pets are allowed to be killed.

However, Dunn said the investigation is ongoing.

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