Letters from the West

Rewards grow for poached grizzly whose claws were removed

Forensic evidence now indicates that the young grizzly killed along the Centennial Mountains in eastern Idaho was killed elsewhere and dumped where it was found after having its claws removed.

The bear had been dead for just a few days when it was found June 4 on Idaho state endowment land near East Dry Creek, off the Yale-Kilgore Road. The bear was in 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 serve as a wild link between Yellowstone National Park and the best and largest tract of unoccupied grizzly bear habitat in the lower 48 states in Central Idaho.

The state and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, along with several wildlife groups, have offered big rewards to convince people to turn in the poachers or provide information about the incident. The state and the feds along with the Greater Yellowstone Coalition are offering $11,200, while the Center for Biological Diversity and the Humane Society’s Wildlife Trust are offering rewards totaling $10,000.

Rocky Barker: 208-377-6484, @RockyBarker