Humane Society honors SCDNR for bear baying investigation - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Humane Society honors SCDNR for bear baying investigation

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DNR Col. Chisolm Frampton accepts Humane Society award from Kim Kelly (Source: SCDNR) DNR Col. Chisolm Frampton accepts Humane Society award from Kim Kelly (Source: SCDNR)

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was recognized by the Humane Society of The United States for ending bear baying.

"As far as we know, bear baying was only being permitted in South Carolina," said Kim Kelly with the HSUS. "With the end of bear baying, we've effectively wiped it out in the United States."

It took DNR agents four years to investigate bear baying in the Upstate.  As a result of the undercover investigation, 50 people were arrested on related charges, including animal cruelty.

"The bears were frequently attacked by the dogs," Kelly said. "While the doges were not supposed to touch the bears, if they were acting properly, our undercover investigation showed that frequently wasn't the case."

Col. Chisolm Frampton, who oversaw the DNR investigation, accepted the Humane Law Enforcement Award at a brief ceremony Tuesday at the State House. The award recognized the DNR for ending the practice of bear baying in South Carolina.

"A four-year-long investigation like this takes focused dedication from our officers," said Frampton. "And I especially want to thank the Attorney General's office in their assistance from day one. They were instrumental in making these cases."

Six black bears recovered in the investigation have been relocated to a wildlife sanctuary in Colorado.

"We're extremely happy to report that the bears are doing very well," said Frampton. "They were taken out there by our officers and we consulted with the Humane Society all along the way, so we really felt good when we took those bears from the Upstate that they were gonna' have a great life from here on out in Colorado."

The DNR continues to investigate illegal black bear activities such as bear baying/baiting, illegal hunting and running of bears in pens.  DNR also does not consider the possession of black bears by individuals to be biologically sound, safe for the local community, or in the best long-term interest of the wild black bear resource.

"Even if it's one bear, it's one bear too many," Frampton said. "It was a large problem to us.  We don't permit any captive live bears in South Carolina."

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