Multi-agency Operation Something Bruin Documents Scores of Violations
State and federal wildlife officials in North Carolina and Georgia announced
an undercover operation today that involved about 80 wildlife violators and some
Primary violations documented by Operation Something Bruin stem from illegal
bear hunting but include an array of state wildlife and game law charges. Some
suspects could also face federal charges.
Investigators say some of the bears were killed so that their paws and gallbladders could be sold on the black market. (WYFF)
The four-year investigation, the largest of its kind in recent years,
targeted poachers in North Carolina and Georgia, with work in some adjacent
states. Included in Georgia are eight defendants facing a total of 136 state
Dan Forster, director of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’
Wildlife Resources Division, said Operation Something Bruin is a great example
of a multi-agency effort with a unified goal: protecting a public trust resource
that provides “tremendous natural, social and economic benefits to
“It is incumbent upon us to ensure that we have sustainable natural resources
for the public to enjoy for generations,” Forster said. “And particularly in
these economic times, it’s critical for us to work across geopolitical
boundaries with other agencies to provide the best possible protection for the
Officers with Georgia DNR and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources
Commission infiltrated poaching circles to document violations including bear
baiting; illegal take of bears, deer and other wildlife; illegal use of dogs;
illegal operation of bear pens in North Carolina; and, guiding hunts on national
forest lands without the required permits.
Operation Something Bruin partners also included the U.S. Forest Service, the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service.
Officers began making arrests Tuesday, Feb. 19. Totals given for violators
and violations are approximate.
This investigation will help safeguard wildlife by making poachers pay now,
and making would-be violators think twice before breaking laws that conserve
For those who persist in wildlife theft, Something Bruin will help agencies
better train officers to catch them – an effort strongly supported by hunters
and anglers, our nation’s first conservationists.
Col. Eddie Henderson, chief of the Wildlife Resources Division’s Law
Enforcement Section, emphasized that the effort also reinforces the public’s
role in helping combat poaching and conserve wildlife.
“Conservation officers cannot be everywhere,” Henderson said. “The public can
be a great asset by reporting poaching and suspicious activity through their
state’s toll-free report-a-violation line.
“Wildlife belongs to everyone. Reporting poaching helps us protect something
the public owns.”
Learn more at www.operationsomethingbruin.org or