B.C.'s Conservation Officer Service is requesting the public's assistance in its investigation to locate Jewel, a radio-collared female grizzly bear who has not been seen since October 2012 and is presumed dead.
Last year, Jewel was relocated to the Texas Creek area south of Lillooet and
fitted with a radio transmission collar. As one of six females of the highly
threatened Stein-Nahatlatch grizzly bear population - unique due to their genetic
isolation - she is considered to be very valuable to ongoing studies.
Jewel was being monitored through a joint effort of the St'at'imc Government
Services, the Foothills Research Institute and the Ministry of Environment. Her last known location was in her home range south of Lillooet last October.
In June of this year, Jewel's radio collar was found by a survey crew near Texas Creek. The Conservation Officer Service believes that someone illegally killed Jewel and the service is now seeking the public's assistance in identifying the person or persons responsible.
As reported in the News in June of 2012, Jewel was one of a handful of remaining breeding females among the vulnerable population of 24 grizzlies living in the mountain block surrounding Lillooet. The block extends down the Fraser River as far south as Hope and then west to Harrison, Anderson and Seton Lakes.
The News reported then, "Many people are pulling for Jewel to have a long and productive life. Her supporters include BC Conservation Officer Bob Butcher, wildlife biologist Tony Hamilton, St'at'imc Government Services ecologist Sue Senger, Blackcomb Aviation pilot Scott Taylor and a number of Texas Creek Road residents.
"Thanks to their efforts, Jewel was successfully located two weeks ago, tranquilized, fitted with a high-tech collar and flown to the top of her home range above Texas Creek."
If members of the public have any information about Jewel or the circumstances surrounding her disappearance, they are asked to call the Report all Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line at 1-877-952-7277 or report online at: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/cos/rapp/form.htm
The BC Wildlife Federation pays rewards up to $2,000 for information leading to
the conviction of persons who have violated laws related to the protection of
fish, wildlife or the environment.