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Grizzly bear illegally shot and killed in Idaho, Fish and Game says. Her cub died, too

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In this July 6, 2011, file photo, a grizzly bear roams near Beaver Lake in Yellowstone National Park, Wyo.

ISLAND PARK — A female grizzly bear was shot and killed in a poaching incident in East Idaho last month, according to a news release from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

Fish and Game officials found the bear’s carcass lying partially submerged in Little Warm River near Island Park after they received a signal from the bear’s radio tracking collar indicating that it had died. It’s the third grizzly poaching in Fremont County since last fall. Previously, Fish and Game discovered the bodies of two male grizzlies that had also been shot and killed — one in late September and the other in early November.

Grizzly bears are still considered a threatened species in the continental United States, making it illegal to hunt them. Parts of Eastern Idaho are included in the Great Yellowstone Ecosystem, a designated recovery area for the species.

Officials said the female grizzly had been shot multiple times sometime between March 15 and March 23. The bear was found near the Pole Bridge Campground near Island Park. Fish and Game officers were able to locate the grizzly’s den, where they found a 6- to 8-week-old cub that had died.

“The loss of a reproductive female grizzly is a real tragedy,” said regional conservation officer Doug Petersen in the news release. “Someone out there knows what happened to this bear and we are asking them to come forward and share that information with us.”

Fish and Game said all three poaching cases remain under investigation. James Brower, spokesman for the Upper Snake Region of Fish and Game, told the Statesman that the agency hasn’t determined whether any of the cases are related.

Anyone with information on any of the poaching cases is urged to contact Fish and Game’s Upper Snake Region office at 208-525-7290 or Citizens Against Poaching at 1-800-632-5999. Tipsters can also report online at idfg.idaho.gov/poacher. Anyone with information that solves the case could receive as much as $50,000 in reward money from Citizens Against Poaching, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and several nongovernmental organizations.

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