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State seeks help in fatal shootings of black bear near Sunlight, bull elk between Aspen, Snowmass

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September 28, 2014, 7:56 am

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers are investigating the death of a female bear discovered along the Babbish Gulch Trail near Sunlight Ski Resort, Friday, Sept. 26. The bear’s cub was found lingering near the carcass. It was successfully captured by wildlife officers who plan to release the healthy cub into the wild.

colorado parks and wildlife logoAfter an investigation at the scene, officers determined that the bear likely died from a gunshot. They urge anyone that can provide additional details to contact Colorado Parks and Wildlife immediately.

“Killing a bear or other game animal and leaving the carcass to waste is a serious offense,” said Area Wildlife Manager Perry Will of Glenwood Springs. “We will continue this investigation until we find the person or persons responsible.”

In a separate incident, officers are asking for information regarding a 5×5 bull elk that was found dead in the Owl Creek area, between Aspen and Snowmass Village on Sept. 24.  Officers determined that the animal had been shot with a small caliber rifle or pistol. The bull survived the initial shot, wandering to the Owl Creek area where it expired, officers say.

In Colorado, elk must be taken with a .24 caliber or larger bullet during a rifle season or a .50 caliber or larger bullet during muzzleloader season. However, the only legal method of take for elk when the bull was shot is with archery equipment. The use of any firearm would have been illegal.

Officers stress that even a seemingly insignificant detail may be an important piece of the puzzle and urge anyone with information to come forward as soon as possible.

“The people that did this still have time to do the right thing and contact me immediately,” said Will. “We take prompt self-reporting into consideration when assessing charges and penalties.”

To provide information call CPW’S Glenwood Springs office at 970-947-2920. To remain anonymous, the public can call Operation Game Thief at 970-265-6648. Anyone providing information that leads to a citation may be eligible for a reward.

For more information about Operation Game Thief, visit www.cpw.state.co.us/aboutus/Pages/OGT.aspx.

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