Letters from the West

Young grizzly bear found dead on edge of Centennial Mountains

The Idaho Department of Fish & Game and the United States Fish & Wildlife Service are offering rewards for information about the people who illegally a young grizzly bear in a key wildlife corridor between Yellowstone and the Bitterroot Recovery zone in central Idaho.

The bear was found on Idaho state endowment land near East Dry Creek, off the Yale-Kilgore Road in Island Park, some of Idaho’s most important habitat where the federal government has proposed removing grizzlies from the threatened species list. East Dry Creek flows out of the Centennial Mountains which serves as a wild link between Yellowstone and the best and largest tract of unoccupied grizzly bear habitat in the lower 48 states in central Idaho.

The bear’s death was reported to the Citizens Against Poaching Hotline during the weekend of June 4th. Conservations Officers investigating the tip located the decomposing carcass of the bear that showed it had been dead a few weeks and that it did not die naturally.

A specially trained Fish and Game dog was brought in to search the area and help officers locate clues. Officials say if someone wants to provide information about the killing they can do so anonymously by calling the poaching hotline.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service enforcement officers said it add $5,000 to the potential reward available. The current amount the Citizens Against Poaching program has designated for information about a grizzly bear killing is $600, but the poaching board is meeting next week to discuss the possibility of enhancing that amount. The Hotline can be reached at 1-800-632-5999 and is staffed 24/7.

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