Bear’s head that ‘smelled like death’ found in park tree by horrified visitors
Visitors to a California park were horrified to find the eyeless head of a bear balanced on a tree branch.
"At first I wasn't sure if it was real,” said local man John Perrin, who found the animal's head while he was fishing in Louis Park in Stockton, California.
“But then I saw the flies buzzing around. It smelled like death”.
"There really aren't even bears in Stockton,” he added. “There’s no reason for that bear head to be there."
Captain Patrick Foy from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's law enforcement division confirmed to ABC10 news his department is investigating the case.
"There's also been recent sightings reported of bears wandering in Tracy — we have no reason to believe these events are connected," he said.
"This kind of case where it appears the bear head was placed for dramatic purposes, we don't usually get that.”
He added that it was unclear if a crime had been committed but at the very least the person that planted the grisly object could face a misdemeanour for unlawful disposal of an animal carcass.
He was stunned by the find: “This is highly unusual, so somebody walking into a park like this…is something pretty rare”.
Another local man, Gabriel Garcia, photographed the bear head: “I took a picture of it, too. I wasn’t for sure what it was,” he said.
“It was a real bear’s head. Somebody stuck it up in a tree right there,” Garcia added. “Parked over there by it, I saw it in the tree. I thought it was a cat. it wasn’t a cat. When I walked up, you could smell it was dead.”
“I don’t know what kind of person would bring that,” he said. “Why would they have it in their car or bring it out here or wherever they brought it from?”
Stockton woman Alex Gomez said was “disturbed” when she saw the photo online, and she felt bad for anyone that had seen the bear head before it had been removed by the authorities.
“I felt worried for the people who saw it because there are kids at that park all the time,” she said.
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