UPDATE: Man charged with killing bear in Estates neighborhood

Man charged in black bear's death

Wildlife official discusses death investigation

Ryan Toranzo, 25, was charged with killing a black bear near his Golden Gate Estate home, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials say.

Ryan Toranzo, 25, was charged with killing a black bear near his Golden Gate Estate home, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials say.

Authorities discovered a dead bear after responding to a call of “shots fired” the night of Nov. 29, 2010, in a quiet Golden Gate Estates neighborhood. Collier County Sheriff’s deputies responded to 3600 block of 18th Avenue S.E. after 10:20 p.m. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials will investigate the cause of death.

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission

Authorities discovered a dead bear after responding to a call of “shots fired” the night of Nov. 29, 2010, in a quiet Golden Gate Estates neighborhood. Collier County Sheriff’s deputies responded to 3600 block of 18th Avenue S.E. after 10:20 p.m. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials will investigate the cause of death.

— A Golden Gate Estates man was arrested by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials and charged with killing a black bear near his home on Monday night.

Ryan G. Toranzo, 25, of the 3600 block of 18th Avenue Southeast, was charged with a felony count of killing or wounding a threatened species, a felony count of animal cruelty and a misdemeanor charge of discharging a firearm in a public place.

Toranzo confessed to pursuing the bear in his truck after the animal got into a “tussle” with his dog near his Estates home and shooting at the bear with a pistol, said FWC spokeswoman Gabriella Ferraro.

Ferraro said there was evidence the bear was run over multiple times, but a cause of death has not been determined. Bears are protected under state law and residents should avoid conflicts with the animals, she said.

Ferraro said pet food and garbage should not be left outdoors at residences because they can attract bears.

POSTED EARLIER

Authorities discovered a dead bear after responding to a call of “shots fired” Monday night in a quiet Golden Gate Estates neighborhood.

Collier County Sheriff’s deputies responded to 3600 block of 18th Avenue S.E. after 10:20 p.m. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials will investigate the cause of death.

"When we got on scene, we discovered a bear had been shot," said CCSO Sgt. Ron Mosbach, who confirmed that the bear died.

Mosbach added that no one has been taken into custody .

FWC Lt. Mark Mahoney arrived after midnight and said he could not confirm if the bear had been shot or even the cause of death.

However, Mahoney said investigators are questioning neighbors.

Mahoney said the bear had been recently killed and was found deep inside of a vacant lot full of brush.

"It was very well covered in brush and dirt," he said. "At this point it's pretty difficult to determine if a shot was fired, and if the bear was even hit."

Mahoney said the forensic side of the investigation takes the lead.

To help the investigation, Mahoney said CCSO's Crime Scene Investigation Unit was helping to process the scene.

After they're done, the bear will transported by FWC and a biologist will conduct a necropsy to determine cause of death.

Mahoney said no one had been taken into custody and that the investigation was ongoing.

In 2009, a San Carlos Park man was arrested after shooting a black bear in his backyard and charged with a third-degree felony for shooting an endangered species. The charge carries a maximum five-year sentence in prison.

Kevin Michael Doerr, 40, pleaded guilty in the San Carlos Park bear shooting in exchange for a plea deal of two years probation and a $500 donation to a wildlife conservation fund.

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Comments » 3

emot writes:

If the bear got into a "tussle" with your dog, put your dog inside and call the authorities about the bear.
You are a thug. Did you get some twisted pleasure out of running over and shooting the bear?
Let the punishment fit the crime. Run him over several times and shoot at him too.
Animal abuser and killer!

zel writes:

Not a smart move: Besides the fact that the bear is a "threatened" species he was running away so he can't claim self-defense from the bear. Smart thing to do would have been to just call the wildlife officers over to see if they will move the bear due to the attack or something but to run it down in your truck is ridiculous. Especially these bears, they arent like, grizzly bears or anything, these bears run away from you pretty quick and the worst they've done at my place is flip all the trash cans over. My co-worker even had one walk right past him not 5 feet away and the bear didn't even give him a second look and just went on about his way in the woods. so the bear hurt the dog? well, dogs tend to start fights and its their own fault, my dog does the same thing with feral cats and thats why I watch her when i let her out but i don't go and shotgun the cat. I just trap them and send them to the humane society :P

BTW i live out east of Everglades BLVD so yes, i have to deal with this kind of stuff too but running the poor bear over and then shooting it? really?

dc5799 writes:

He's nothing but a piece of s--t.Big tough guy.

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