Humane Society ups ante in bear killing | AspenTimes.com

Humane Society ups ante in bear killing

Aspen Times StaffAspen, CO Colorado

EMMA It’s getting more lucrative by the week to help investigators track down the poacher of a black bear in Emma.The Humane Society of the United States has added $1,000 to the bounty for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for fatally shooting the mother bear and orphaning two cubs.The Colorado Division of Wildlife already was offering $500, and an anonymous Pitkin County resident added $1,000. The new total is $2,500.Holly Tarry, Colorado director for the Humane Society, said she heard about the case from a Pitkin County resident. The Humane Society offers rewards all over the country in cases that involve inhumane treatment of animals, she said. The animal protection organization felt the Emma case warranted additional reward money.”Poaching is not only callous and irresponsible, it’s a serious crime,” Tarry said. Even if a conviction proves difficult in the Emma case, the Humane Society wants to send a message that the behavior was unacceptable, she said.A black bear sow was found dead Sept. 12 along the Rio Grande Trail near Emma, just downvalley from Basalt. State wildlife officers estimated that the bear was shot on Friday, Sept. 7. Residents reported that two cubs had been spotted in a tree above the carcass.Wildlife officers eventually captured one cub and sent it to a wildlife rehabilitation center. The other cub remains at large. “It will probably turn up or make it on its own,” said Randy Hampton, public information specialist for the Wildlife Division.He said the investigation remains active. Wildlife officers have canvassed the neighborhood to try to find the shooter.Anyone with information is urged to call the Operation Game Thief hot line toll-free at (877) 265-6648 or the Glenwood Springs office of the DOW at (970) 947-2920. Callers can remain anonymous.