Buying Bear Parts Gets Fort Frances Man $9,000 in Fines 

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A man has been convicted after buying black bear gall bladders.

On July 5, 2019 in the Ontario Court of Justice in Fort Frances, Justice of the Peace Jennifer Neill fined Byeong-ok Kim of Fort Frances $9,000 for unlawfully possessing six black bear gall bladders. The court heard that on two separate occasions in 2018 Kim bought bear gall bladders from conservation officers at his place of business.

In certain cultures, there is the traditional belief that black bear gall bladders have medicinal powers. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act makes it illegal for a person to possess a black bear gall bladder that has been removed from the bear’s carcass. It is also illegal to buy or sell game wildlife, except under specific circumstances.

Kim became the subject of a Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry investigation after information suggested he was buying black bear gall bladders. Detectives with the Intelligence and Investigations Section assisted conservation officers in Fort Frances with the special investigation that led to the charges and conviction.

Conservation officers with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry want to remind the public that buying and selling bear parts is illegal in Ontario.