Bear killing protest scheduled Thursday morning

The public outrage over the illegal bow-and-arrow killing of two black bears in the Wilton woods of Indian Rock Place on Sept. 16 will resurface Thursday, Nov. 30, at 9:30 a.m. outside the State Superior Court in Norwalk on Belden Avenue, according to organizers.

That is the date of a planned protest outside the courthouse.

The court appearance was originally scheduled for Sept. 28, but got postponed to Oct., and then to Nov. 30.

In the Sept. 16 case, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection received an anonymous report on a Saturday that an archery hunter had illegally shot and killed two black bears on private property in Wilton.

Officers from DEEP’s Environmental Conservation (EnCon) Police responded and said Antonio Lio, 28, of Wilton was seen exiting the woods allegedly carrying a bear skin, head and paws stored in his backpack. He was accompanied by a second person, Daniel Moran, age 33, of Norwalk.

Lio allegedly said he shot a bear as it was walking under his tree stand. Lio further admitted that he shot and killed a second bear that approached him while he was checking on the first deceased bear, police said.

Lio told ENCon Police he texted Moran to assist in retrieving the bears. Upon arrival, Moran and Lio allegedly skinned the first bear, cutting off its paws and head, for a trophy mount.

Lio did not have a valid 2017 hunting license or archery permit. After the initial investigation both men were arrested. Lio was charged with two counts of Illegal taking of black bear and one count of fourth-degree negligent hunting. He was released on a $5,000 non-surety bond for the misdemeanors.

Moran was charged with conspiracy to commit illegal taking of black bear and was released on a $3,000 non-surety bond for the misdemeanor.

Both Lio and Moran are scheduled to appear in Norwalk Superior Court on Sept. 28.

Eleanor Sasso of the Bear Rally Committee said the protesters are seeking stiffer penalties for poaching and trophy hunting, and no bear hunting. All are illegal in Connecticut.