Clues sought in senseless grizzly shooting

Conservation officials are asking for the public’s assistance in an investigation into the suspected killing of a female grizzly, the mother of…

Conservation officials are asking for the public’s assistance in an investigation into the suspected killing of a female grizzly, the mother of two cubs.

Her remains were discovered on August 9. Officials determined that the carcass was about two days old — putting the shooting in the time period roughly between August 4th and August 8th.

At the site of the dead bear, near Ruby Creek about 30 kilometres east of Kluane Lake, conservation officers heard the bawling of two cubs in the woods.

“It’s quite a mournful, attention-grabbing sound, just like a baby crying,” said conservation officer Ken Knutson.

“It’s that kind of sound where it’s clearly an animal in distress,” he added.

An examination of the dead sow revealed that the cubs were approximately two years old, an age that could give them a chance of survival even as orphans.

“Unless they’re predated upon, which is quite likely, they may stand a good chance of denning up and surviving,” said Knutson.

Attempts to recover the two cubs failed, as they kept retreating into the bush when approached.

Provided that there’s no safety risk or threat of “irreparable property damage,” the wildlife act forbids the shooting of a female grizzly bear with cubs.

It is also illegal to shoot any bear under the age of three years.

The maximum penalty for the unnecessary killing of a female grizzly bear is $50,000 and/or 12 months in jail.

Anyone with any information regarding the incident is asked to contact the Haines Junction Conservation Officer Services at 1 (867) 634-2247 or the T.I.P line at 1 (800) 661-0525.

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