SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the person who shot a grizzly bear and her nursing cub in northern Idaho.
The dead adult grizzly was discovered last Friday morning by a hiker on Hall Mountain in Boundary County, northwest of US Highway 95. A search of the remote area turned up the dead cub.
Both bears appeared to have been dead for several days, wildlife officials said.
The case is troubling because it does not appear to be accidental, said Jason Holm, a spokesman for the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The shooting of the cub is especially “a callous act that any sportsman would find appalling,” Holm said.
“Shooting a cub wouldn’t be allowed in any hunting situation,” Holm said. “That does not appear to be a case of mistaken identity.”
A black bear hunting season is currently open in Idaho, but hunters may not shoot grizzly bears and may not shoot black bears with cubs, the FWS said.
Agents for the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game are investigating. The carcasses will be flown to a federal laboratory in Ashland, Ore., for necropsy and retrieval of evidence.
Grizzly bears are a threatened species in the lower 48 states and killing one carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
About 40 to 50 grizzlies are estimated to live in the Selkirk Mountains of northern Idaho and Eastern Washington, one of five federal grizzly bear recovery areas. One or two bears are killed by humans there in a typical year, usually in cases of self-defense, Holm said.
Holm declined to provide any details about what investigators have learned so far.
The reward is a combination of federal funds and donations, Holm said.