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Alaska Gift Shop Owner Fined Over Sale of Bear Skulls
The Associated Press / Anchorage Daily News / December 1, 2005

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The owner of a Juneau gift shop was fined this week for putting a dozen bear skulls up for sale at the start of this summer's busy tourist season.

Larry Lynd, 50, of Anchorage, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Juneau District Court to unlawful sale or advertisement of black-bear skulls at his Wooly Mammoth Gifts shop.

The plea agreement requires Lynd to pay $1,250, and he will be on probation for two years. Lynd also forfeited the 12 skulls in June to Alaska State Troopers.

Lynd had priced the skulls at $35 to $350 each.

He told officers he obtained the skulls at a trade show.

This is the second case this fall of a downtown gift shop convicted of selling illegal bear parts, said Alaska State Trooper Sgt. Steve Hall, a supervisor for wildlife enforcement officers.

Alaska Fur Gallery was fined $1,500 in September after pleading no contest to accusations that it offered black bear skins for sale at its Juneau and Ketchikan stores. Another case from this summer is still pending against a Skagway business, Hall said.

State fish and game regulations forbid the purchase, sale, barter, or offer for sale of any part of a bear.

Exceptions include handicrafts made from bear fur. A licensed taxidermist may be permitted to sell a finished skin or trophy that has been unclaimed for at least one year, the rules say.

The state also can sell bear remains.

The carcasses of bears killed by cars or killed in defense of human life become property of the state.

When the animals can be salvaged, their parts can be loaned out for educational or cultural uses.

Seized and salvaged bear parts are sold at auction once a year with proceeds covering the cost of wildlife management programs, officials said.

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