Students Charged in Dead Bear/Obama Sign Incident

Two at Western Carolina were charged with misdemeanors in incident official called “stupid prank.”

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Two Western Carolina students have been charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and a wildlife violation in connection with a dead bear dumped on campus with Barack Obama campaign signs on its head, the Asheville Citizen-Times reports.

The incident caused quite a furor, both on campus and in the media, because of its supposed racial and political overtones. The university chancellor also caught flak for calling the incident a "stupid prank," but if the university statement is accurate, the chancellor may not be too far off.

The students found the bear while camping Saturday night and continued with their trip.

They returned home and unloaded their gear Sunday before returning to the woods to get the bear. They brought the bear to a party at The Summit, an off-campus housing complex, and there they decided to dump it at a roundabout in front of the administration building.

The Obama campaign material involved was really two signs taped together, the university said Wednesday. The signs, with an opening across the bottom, were "placed on the head of the bear."

Investigators later determined a vehicle hit the bear, shattering its skull.