Published: Jul 29, 2011 6:52 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 29, 2011 5:53 PM EDT

Officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) are seeking the public’s help in their investigation into the recent death of a Florida black bear.

The bear’s carcass was found dumped and wrapped in a tarp last Friday in the Golden Gate Estates area of Collier County. Decomposition had set in, and investigators suspect foul play.

“This is a disturbing case,” said FWC Capt. Jayson Horadam. “Bears are protected under state law. It is illegal to kill or wound bears. The offense is punishable as a felony.”

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922. Callers may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward if their information leads to an arrest.

The FWC is committed to reducing human-bear conflicts. Access to unsecured garbage encourages bears to remain in neighborhoods, which creates conflicts. For more information about living with black bears, visit MyFWC.com/Bear.