A group of activists that helps wild bears in western North Carolina is offering a $5,000 reward to anyone who can help them find out who placed a Trump 2020 sticker on a bear’s tracking collar.
Help Asheville Bears (HAB), a nonprofit that describes itself as “a group consisting of a multi-range of professionals” in the Asheville area who oppose illegal bear trapping, were outraged when they obtained photos of a wild bear with a tracking collar adorned with a sticker advocating for President Donald Trump’s re-election.
Local organization "Help Asheville Bears" is offering a $5,000 reward for information on whoever put a 'Trump 2020' sticker on this black bear's collar, spotted in North Asheville.
Full story: https://t.co/07GuqSveyl
(Photos by Sheila Chapman) pic.twitter.com/CqBOm9MRbB
— WLOS (@WLOS_13) August 2, 2020
“Bears are NOT Billboards!” the group wrote in a Facebook post. “Second black bear in Asheville, NC confirmed with political sticker on tracking collar.”
After a series of emojis indicating anger and sadness, the post continued:
HAB is offering a $5,000 reward for information on the person(s) responsible for putting this political sticker on this beautiful bear who has already been trapped, tranquilized, and collared unnecessarily. This bear must wear this burdensome collar (now with a sticker) and bolts in its ears for worthless data.
HAB went on to recount the story of another bear whose tracking collar had a Trump sticker slapped on it in September 2019, adding:
Whoever put these political stickers on these bears is cruel and heartless. HAB and our followers hope to stop and expose you. This is now the second bear this happened to, which can only mean either someone in the study is doing this or it is someone in the public. Either way, a full investigation needs to be done. Thank you to the amazing follower who sent this report and the pictures to us in order to help get this stopped. HAB agrees 100% with what you say below and we are so thankful to have a true fighter for animals, like you, standing up for the bears. You are a true animal lover and we all applaud your efforts to expose who did this.
The post concluded with an email from the person who first discovered the Trump sticker, who expressed her disappointment with the local bear study responsible for the tracking collar in the first place.
“The group sounded committed to protecting our Urban bears and promoting their health and well being,” she wrote. “That is why I was shocked to see this on the bear’s collar today. I believe this is an abhorrent practice. These bears are already suffering enough with the heavy collars and metal ear mutilations. But to put a political sticker on the collar? No words can describe my anger and sadness.”
According to The Asheville Citizen-Times, approximately 6,000 bears roam the mountains of North Carolina and many of them often appear in the Asheville area.
Asheville recently made headlines when its liberal city council unanimously voted to offer “community reparations” for its black citizens. The resolution does not offer direct payments, but will instead seek to rectify historical disparities among the city’s black community with investment-based solutions.
UPDATE: In a press release issued after this story’s publication and sent to The Daily Wire, HAB said the person who placed the sticker on the bear had been identified.
“Today, with help from the public, the person who placed the sticker on the bear has apologized for their actions and promised not to have any contact with any bears in the future,” the statement read in part. “They stated that they placed the sticker in protest of the unnecessary, excessive tagging and collaring of wild bears who suffer enough through North Carolina’s hunting season.”
The statement added: “The Good Samaritan who reported the person responsible for the sticker did so because they love the bears. No reward was paid.”
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