Bears Threatened

In this May 17, 2015 photo, a Louisiana Black Bear, sub-species of the black bear that is protected under the Endangered Species Act, sits in a water oak tree in Marksville, La. 

LETTSWORTH — A 30-year-old Pointe Coupee Parish man was ordered to pay $10,250 in civil restitution for killing a Louisiana black bear in 2017, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reported Tuesday. 

Ronald J. Kimble, of Lettsworth, admitted he shot and killed a female black bear in November 2017 while hunting at the Richard K. Yancey Wildlife Management Area in Concordia Parish. 

A national nonprofit group along with a number of Louisiana organizations and individuals have filed suit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seeking to have the Louisiana black bear put back on the list of endangered species.

The bear, a subspecies of the American black bear, was named an endangered species in 1992 but was delisted as an endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2016.

Kimble told the agents he shot and killed the bear thinking it was a wild hog. He was arrested Jan. 9 and booked on counts of taking a bear during closed season and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. 

A Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologist was alerted to the bear's death by a mortality signal transmitted from the radio collar the bear was wearing. The bear was shot twice with a large-cailber weapon, according to a news release. 

There is no hunting season set for black bears in Louisiana, the state's Department of Wildlife and Fisheries stated in its news release Tuesday. 

Kimble had his hunting and fishing licenses revoked until he pays the civil restitution.  

The federal agency said in 2016 that the Louisiana black bear species had been removed from the endangered species list following a comprehensive scientific review.

When the black bear, the state mammal of Louisiana, was listed as endangered in 1992, there were as few as 150 bears, but when the bear was removed from the list two year ago, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated there were 500 to 750 bears.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which was filed June 28 in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, are seeking to reverse the delisting, saying those numbers aren't high enough.

Follow Terry Jones on Twitter, @tjonesreporter.