The FBI is investigating the possible killing of a grizzly bear found dead near Yellowstone
A federal investigation is underway into the death of a grizzly bear found lying on its side in an open area in Wyoming near Yellowstone National Park.
On Monday photographer Julie Argyle shared images of the dead bear, taken by photographer Amy Wells.
“Earlier this morning this grizzly bear was found dead just 14 miles outside of Yellowstone National Park along the North Fork towards Cody, Wyoming,” Argyle wrote on Facebook. “It was about 20 to 40 meters from the road.”
Another photographer who saw the dead bear, Amy Gerber, said Cowboy State Daily that people in the area initially thought the animal might have been hit by a car. But she firmly believes someone shot the grizzly, which she estimates weighed around 500 pounds.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the bear was shot,” Gerber said. “And there’s no evidence of street killings in the area. There are no skid marks or splinters from a car.”
On her Facebook page, Cub Creek Photography, Gerber reports that Wyoming Department of Wildlife and Fish officials told her the bear had been shot.
Neither Wyoming Game and Fish nor the US Fish and Wildlife Service — which led the investigation into the bear’s death — immediately responded to a request for comment from HuffPost.
However, Breanna Ball, a spokeswoman for Wyoming Game and Fish confirmed to the New York Times that a grizzly bear was found dead near Cody, Wyoming. She also said the state agency has assisted the USFWS with the “ongoing investigation,” but could not comment further.
USFWS spokesman Joe Szuszwalak told the Times the investigation is “open and active.”
grizzly bears in the Yellowstone National Park region protected nationwide according to the Species Protection Act. In Wyoming, people are forbidden from killing grizzly bears except in cases of self-defense, and anyone who kills one in self-defense must report to officers.
“Typically, it’s pretty easy to determine when a case was self-defense,” USFWS Special Agent Richard Gamba told Cowboy State Daily.