Federal and tribal wildlife agencies are offering a $4,000 reward for information about the illegal shooting of a female grizzly bear north of St. Ignatius. The bear was discovered mortally wounded by a shotgun blast two weeks ago by Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes biologists.
CSKT Wildlife, Fish and Recreation Manager Tom McDonald:
"[We] attempted to trap that animal. We did capture that animal, and because of the extremely poor condition from a shotgun wound, we had to euthanize that animal."
The grizzly left behind two orphaned cubs, one of which had also been shot. Both are at the Montana Wildlife Center in Helena awaiting a new home.
"They are both in good condition right now. We are hoping they might be able to find a zoo, but we are very saddened by the loss," McDonald said.
DNA testing confirmed that the sow that was euthanized was the mother of the two female cubs.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Tribes are now offering a reward of up to $4,000 for information leading directly to a conviction in the shootings.
Anyone with information is asked to call special agents at 406-329-3000, or Pablo Espinoza, chief conservation officer at 406-675-4700.