WASHINGTON (CN) – An animal-rights group demands that the Department of the Interior turn over a videotape that allegedly shows country singer Troy Lee Gentry killing a black bear in an enclosed space, to falsely claim he had killed it in the wild, and use the film in a music video.
Showing Animals Respect and Kindness claims Gentry went to Lee Marvin Greenly’s Minnesota Wildlife Connection in 2004 to “kill a black bear named ‘Cubby’ in an enclosed pen, and falsely tag the bear as a bear killed in the wild.” The men did that, and “Troy Gentry videotaped the encounter with Cubby,” SHARK says in its federal complaint. “Gentry intended to use the scenes from the videotape in a future music video. Additionally, Gentry sent the pictures of himself and Cubby’s dead body to at least one bear hunting publication. When the DOJ recovered the videotapes of the ‘hunt’ during its investigation of the events, the videotapes had been edited in a deceptive manner to create the appearance of a fair chase hunt rather than a hunt within a small enclosure.”
SHARK claims both men pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from the killing. Gentry pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in exchange for prosecutors’ dropping a felony charge, and Greenly pleaded guilty to two felonies, according to the complaint. SHARK complains that prosecutors let the men off easy, with penalties far less than called for by the Lacey Act.
SHARK sought the videotape in a FOIA request, and the Interior Department and Fish and Wildlife Service refused to provide it. SHARK says it wants the video to “‘increase the public understanding and activities of the U.S. Department of the Interior as it relates to investigating, prosecuting, and accepting plea agreements’ under the Lacey Act.”