For Immediate Release, December 2, 2016
Contact: Andrea Santarsiere, (303) 854-7748, firstname.lastname@example.org
$11,000 Reward Offered Over Illegal Shooting of Grizzly Bear in Idaho
VICTOR, Idaho— The Center for Biological Diversity is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for illegally shooting a grizzly bear in the gut, leading to the bear’s slow and painful death in Idaho’s Fremont County. Grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem are currently listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, and it is illegal to shoot one in Idaho unless in self-defense.
The pledge, along with a $5,000 reward offered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and a $1,000 reward offered by Citizens Against Poaching, brings the total reward amount to $11,000. The grizzly was likely killed about a week before it was discovered by hunters on Oct. 28 near Coyote Meadows Road on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest.
“Shooting a grizzly bear in the gut and leaving it to die a slow death is abhorrent,” said Andrea Santarsiere, a senior attorney at the Center. “The killing of even one grizzly is a setback to the recovery of these magnificent bruins. Anyone who knows anything about this incident must step up and help bring these poachers to justice.”
Protections against shooting grizzly bears may soon disappear. In March of this year, the Fish and Wildlife Service announced plans to remove Endangered Species Act protections for Yellowstone’s famed grizzly bears, paving the way for state-supported trophy hunts that are already being planned in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.
But last year, the population of grizzly bears declined for the first time in decades. And the 61 grizzly bear deaths recorded last year — most of them human-caused — are the highest number of deaths since they were protected in 1975.
“Sadly, the poaching death of this bear has contributed to what is looking to be yet another record-breaking year of grizzly bear deaths,” said Santarsiere. “And officials are predicting that this year the population has seen another decline. Incidents like these demonstrate why grizzly bears still desperately need federal protection.”
Anyone with information about the incident should call the Citizens Against Poaching Hotline, (800) 632-5999, or the Fish and Wildlife Service at (208) 523-0855. Callers may remain anonymous.
Idaho officials are continuing to seek information about last spring’s grizzly bear poaching in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest near East Dry Creek, off the Yale-Kilgore Road in Island Park. Conservation officers concluded that the young grizzly bear had been dead a few weeks and did not die of natural causes. More than $15,000 in reward money is available for information leading to an arrest and conviction in that case.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.