(BLOOMFIELD) - Criminal charges have been filed against an Indianapolis man who shot and killed a bobcat in Greene County.
28-year-old Andy J. Dyer II, of Indianapolis, will appear in Greene County Court on charges of illegal possession of an endangered or threatened species.
Dyer shot and killed the bobcat on property owned by Dr. Richard Lopez, near the old Hawthorn mine on Nov. 12.
According to police reports, Lopez went to investigate after hearing shots fired on his property. That is when he found Dyer. Dyer told Lopez he had shot a mountain lion. Lopez told Dyer he was trespassing and needed to leave his property.
Indiana Conservation Officer Mike Gregg says that when he arrived, he found a spent 12-gauge deer slug shell casing. Gregg noticed a blood and drag trail and followed it. The trail ended where an ATV had stopped. Gregg followed the ATV tracks to a trailer located a few hundred yards away. There he found blood on the ATV. Officers then collected a blood sample from the scene.
The ATV was owned by Joe and Debbie Whitehead, the parents of Dyer. Police say Whitehead told them his son had killed the bobcat.
Whitehead admitted that they were hunting at that location on Nov. 12 and Dyer had killed the animal. He told officers the bobcat was down the road where the two had thrown it. Whitehead also have a photo on his cell phone of the dead cat. Charges were not filed against Whitehead.
If found guilty Dyer could be sentenced between six months to three years in jail and fined up to $5,000.
Bobcats are a protected furbearing mammal under state law. Conservation officers say bobcats eat mostly rabbits, rats, mice, moles and squirrels and pose no significant danger to humans. Their secretive, nocturnal behavior and preference for remote areas make interactions between humans and bobcats relatively rare, according to information provided by the DNR.
Bobcats were classified as endangered in 1969, providing full protection for this rare species. Ten years later its status was upgraded to a protected species.
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