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Montana Wildlife Managers Seek Info On Two Grizzly Bear Shootings

Hunter with a rifle.
Hunter with a rifle.

Wildlife managers on the Flathead Reservation are seeking information on two grizzly bear shootings in October, and offering a reward for it. The two female bears were found in mid-October. A federal investigation is ongoing.

One bear was shot to death in a field in the Moiese Valley. The other was reported injured north of St. Ignatius with a large, close-range birdshot wound on its face and later euthanized due to her injuries.

Both bears were lactating at the time of death and may have had cubs or yearlings.

Germaine White is a spokesperson for an information and education manager with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ Natural Resources Department.

"These two grizzly bears and cubs are part of 17 grizzly bears that were lost to the Reservation population this season. That's an extremely high amount and it's a loss greater than we can bear, " White says.

A record number of grizzly bears have died this year in northwest Montana.

Grizzly bears in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem, which spans the Flathead Reservation and Glacier National Park, remain protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are seeking information on both shootings. Tips can be reported anonymously to the Tribes and the Service. A reward of up to $3,000 is available for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

The CSKT and the USFWS are asking for anyone that may have heard or seen anything related to either of these cases to call Tribal Dispatch at 406-675-2700 or the Service Special Agent at 406-329-3000.  Callers do not have to identify themselves and a reward of up to $3,000 is available for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

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