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Reward offered for information about the illegal shooting of a grizzly bear

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Posted at 8:17 AM, Jun 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-05 10:17:08-04

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Blackfeet Fish & Wildlife Department are seeking information on the illegal shooting of a female grizzly bear in Montana.

The GPS-collared bear was last known to be alive on May 11, 2020. Law enforcement agents believe the bear was killed on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation on or around May 12 near Boarding School Road.

USFWS said in a news release that the bear, nicknamed “Yogi” by researchers, was a light golden-colored bear. The dead bear was found by Blackfeet Fish & Wildlife Department game wardens the week of May 14. The bear’s carcass was taken to the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks lab in Bozeman where an examination into the bear’s death revealed that the grizzly bear had been shot.

USFWS is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information contributing significantly to and furthering the investigation into the death of the grizzly bear.

If you have any information about the shooting and killing of this grizzly bear, you can call the Service’s Special Agent at 406-761-2286 or email lawenforcement@fws.gov .

Members of the public who report information can remain anonymous.

In related news, two grizzly bears were killed by black bear hunters last week on the Rocky Mountain Front west of Great Falls. Both incidents are being investigated by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The circumstances of each incident are not yet available, pending the results of the investigations, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. In one incident a male bear was killed. In the other, the grizzly bear killed was a female. No cubs were found.

Grizzly bears are currently protected under the federal Endangered Species Act. Grizzly bears in the lower-48 states are currently protected as a threatened species. It is illegal to harm, harass, or kill these bears, except in cases of self defense or the defense of others.