Update (August 29, 2022): Reportedly, those responsible for the death of the black bear cub in Castaños, Coahuila, Mexico, could receive three to six years in prison, pending an investigation into the killing. The police officers who appear to be shown in the videos and photographs are also allegedly subjects of the investigation.
Originally posted on August 25, 2022:
Just 4 months old and weighing only 29 kilos (about 64 pounds), a black bear cub had apparently wandered into Castaños, a municipality in Coahuila, looking for water. But instead of leaving the cub alone, several residents reportedly decided to subdue the animal.
The ensuing tragedy was shocking.
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Graphic images of the incident appear to show the villagers, some of whom seem to be minors, tying up the cub with ropes while others hold the frightened animal by the legs. Unwilling to let the cub go, the villagers apparently beat the animal and tightened the rope around their neck until they suffocated.
The images also appear to show some villagers and members of the municipal police, who apparently did not intervene, smiling for the camera afterward. Reports say the cub’s body was taken to a veterinarian to be weighed and to determine the cub’s age, then buried near the animal’s natural habitat.
Black bears are considered an endangered species in Mexico—the result of shrinking habitat and illegal hunting—and are protected in other areas of Coahuila.
Earlier this month, police in Norway killed a walrus after she chased a woman taking a selfie. In June, a woman at Yellowstone National Park was gored by a bison when she got too close. Those incidents, like the reported one in Castaños, are graphic reminders to respect wildlife and leave them alone.
The Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection is reportedly pursuing a criminal complaint against the bear’s suspected killers. We can help save wildlife now by leaving them alone—and by going to @profepa_mx and @fgecoahuila to call for swift action against the bear’s alleged abusers and the police who reportedly failed to stop them.