Reward for information in Flathead Reservation grizzly death

Pablo, Montana (AP) 9-07

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are asking for help in finding out who shot a grizzly bear to death on the Flathead Reservation and then removed its front claws.

Defenders of Wildlife, a national nonprofit conservation organization, is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and prosecution of whoever is responsible for the September 24th shooting.

CSKT spokesman Rob McDonald said the felony crime is punishable by fines up to $10,000 and possible jail time.

The bear, estimated to be 7 to 10 years old, was shot west of McDonald Lake, in an area between U.S. Highway 93 and the Mission Mountains, near where the highway passes by the Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge.

McDonald said dry conditions in the mountains and a lack of food are driving bears down to lower elevations than normal.

The tribesÂ’ 89,000-acre Mission Mountains Tribal Wilderness Area, which includes a 10,000-acre grizzly bear conservation area, is nearby.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call the Tribal Law Enforcement Office at 406-675-4700. The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks is also investigating.

Information from: Missoulian,