Appalachian Bear Rescue, Associated Press
In this photo released by , R.A., a black bear from Virginia, left, and Kris, a Louisiana black bear , right, are shown in this photograph taken in March 2011 and provided by Appalachian Bear Rescue of Townsend, Tenn., shortly before their release in April 2011. The animal _ dubbed Kris because it arrived at the Tennessee center just before Christmas 2010 _ was shot and killed in southwest Mississippi in December. It had been tagged and released eight months earlier in Louisiana. Wildlife officials are investigating and say a suspect _ an Amite County man _ could face federal charges because Louisiana black bears are protected under the Endangered Species Act.

NEW ORLEANS — A scrawny 2-year-old Louisiana black bear that was able to regain its health at a rescue center was shot to death in December, about eight months after it was released into the wild.

Tom MacKenzie of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it is extremely rare, at least in the Southeast, for something like this to happen.

The bear was shot in Amite County, Miss. Federal officials are investigating and say a man there could face charges because Louisiana black bears are protected under the Endangered Species Act.

The bear was named Kris because it arrived at the rescue center in Townsend, Tenn., shortly before Christmas 2010 after it was found going through trash in south Louisiana.

The bear weighed about 200 pounds when it was shot.