Hunter sentenced over bear cub deaths

The animals were just one year old, and weighed 41kg when they were shot and killed last autumn.

File picture of brown bear cubs / Credit: iStock

A hunter has received a suspended sentence and a ban at Kainuu District Court for killing two bear cubs.

The incident happened in Suomussalmi last October and the hunter says he didn’t notice there were two cubs, because together they looked like one “blob” in the woods.

The court heard the hunter first reported that he shot two adult bears weighing 65kg and 74kg each. However, according to officials the bear cubs were less than one year old, and weight only 41kg when they were killed.

The court says the hunter had a duty of care to the wildlife, and when he was carrying them 70 metres in a bag towards his car he should have noticed that they didn’t weigh as much as adult bears.

The hunter was given a three year hunting ban, and a four month suspended sentence.