The black bear found dead on N.C. State University’s campus on Tuesday morning apparently was hit by a vehicle and was not shot, according to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.
The commission used Twitter to announce the results of a preliminary “unofficial necropsy.” Officials said they would release more information after receiving the necropsy report, likely next week.
The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is reviewing its necropsy report to ensure it hasn’t missed any details or injuries, according to a wildlife commission spokesman.
A university employee found the black bear stretched out on a bench in the Brickyard area of campus about 8 a.m. Tuesday. State and university authorities are still trying to determine how the bear ended up there.
Even if the prank’s perpetrators did not shoot the bear out of season, the case still could bring legal consequences.
“If the bear had been struck by a vehicle and that was its cause of death, you’re supposed to call that into the wildlife commission,” said Russell Wong, a commission spokesman. It’s also possible that someone illegally removed body parts from the bear, he said.
It’s a misdemeanor under state law, punishable by a fine of at least $2,000, to unlawfully transport a bear. That charge, as well as a potential felony charge for mutilation of a bear corpse, could apply in this case, according to commission officials.
Wildlife enforcement officers are working with university police to review footage from numerous surveillance cameras that might show who brought the bear to NCSU, Wong said.