STOCKTON (CBS13) — A severed bear head was found in a tree at Louis Park in Stockton last week.
“I took a picture of it, too. I wasn’t for sure what it was,” said Gabriel Garcia who saw the bear head.READ MORE: 'We Want To Take An Innovated Approach': Sacramento City Pilot Project Sets Aside $1M For Community To Spend
He says he spotted it in a tree last Wednesday but says he heard it was there since last Monday.
“It was a real bear’s head. Somebody stuck it up in a tree right there,” he said. “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.”
Stockton police say officers responded to the gruesome discovery on Friday.
So, what charges could the person responsible face and how rare is a case like this? Patrick Foy, a captain with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, says at the very least the person can face a misdemeanor for unlawful disposal of an animal carcass.
He told CBS13 that a case as such where a bear’s severed head is found in a tree is extremely rare.
“This is highly unusual, so somebody walking into a park like this…is something pretty rare,” Patrick said.READ MORE: 'I Cannot Safely Return To Work': West Campus Vice Principal Dr. Elysse Versher Resigns, Citing History Of Racial And Sexual Harassment
Fish and Wildlife is investigating. The body of the bear has yet to be found.
“There’s no reason why there should’ve been a head in a tree in the first place,” said Alex Gomez who lives in Stockton.
She came across photos of the bear’s head and feels bad for anyone who may have seen it before it was removed by authorities.
“Disturbed. I felt worried for the people who saw it because there are kids at that park all the time,” Alex said.
Gabriel still can’t believe he saw it.
“I don’t know what kind of person would bring that. Why would they have it in their car or bring it out here or wherever they brought it from?” Gabriel said.MORE NEWS: 'The Saddest Thing I've Ever Seen': Community Shaken After 3-Year-Old Dies In Arden-Arcade Fourplex Fire
Fish and wildlife say right now they don’t what the origin of the bear is and whether or not it is evidence of a poaching crime.