Investigators are looking for information regarding a dead black bear that was dumped in Golden Gate Estates last week.
The carcass was found by two Collier County deputies and was wrapped in a blue tarp near the end of Desoto Boulevard near 12th Avenue Northeast.
“The deputies who found is said the stench was incredible,” said Gabriella Ferraro, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman. “It probably weighed about 200 pounds when it was alive, but its bottom area was so soupy that we couldn’t determine the sex.”
Ferraro said FWC officials believe someone may have intentionally killed the animal, wrapped the body in a tarp and dropped it off at the end of Desoto Boulevard.
There also appears to be a wound in the left mid-section of the bear — a spot that’s often highlighted on shooting targets as a kill zone.
“Because of the decomposition, we don’t know exactly what caused the death,” Ferraro said. “We did find a puncture area that could have been caused by an arrow or a bullet.”
Ferraro said biologist ran a metal detector over the carcass but did not find a bullet.
Large wildlife like bears and panthers are sometimes hit by passing vehicles in this region. Ferraro said drivers who run over wildlife don’t typically relocate the body, another clue that foul play may be a factor in the death.
“If someone hits an animal, traditionally people call us,” Ferraro said. “So this is certainly very strange.”
Killing or intentionally harming a black bear is a felony in Florida.