A nearly yearlong inquiry into a case that's been called "the worst of the worst" has led to the arrest of nine people in three states. Those are the words of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who says the case in her state is "one of the most horrific wildlife abuse cases she has ever seen," per WFLA. The Orlando Weekly reports that Bondi's office and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced the arrests Wednesday, and the details are grim: The suspects are accused of setting out Krispy Kreme doughnuts—as well as peanut butter, dog food, and pastries—in four different Florida counties to lure bears out of hiding, then allowing a pack of a dozen or so hunting dogs to attack and maul the bears.
The suspects then uploaded video of the incidents to Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram; an investigation started in January. Although a FWC rep says it's not clear how many bears died, Bondi's office says at least two perished as a result of these incidents; more than four dozen dogs are now in the custody of the state. "This is not hunting. This is not a sport. This is the worst of the worst," says Bondi, adding that the suspects perpetrated the "gruesome" acts "for [their] amusement." Bondi's office has a list of the eight individuals hailing from Florida, Georgia, and Virginia and who've now been arrested and hit with animal cruelty, racketeering, unlawfully taking a black bear, and littering charges, among others. (A hunter killed a bear who survived a California wildfire.)