Wildlife officials say black bears are threatened by poachers. (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Forest Service)
GAINESVILLE, GA (FOX Carolina) -
Wildlife officials in Georgia and North Carolina are working to arrest and stop illegal bear hunting as part of Operation Something Bruin.
Georgia Department of Natural Resources officials said the four-year undercover operation has snagged 80 violators and nearly 980 violations leading to state and federal charges against poachers in the southeast.
GDNR officials said they have eight defendants facing a total of 136 state charges alone. The multi-state arrests began on Tuesday.
GDNR agents along with North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission officers infiltrated poaching circles, documenting violations including bear baiting, illegal theft of bears, deer and other wildlife, illegal use of dogs, illegal operation of bear pens and guiding hunts on national forest lands without the required permits.
The U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service were also involved in the operation.
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