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Blackfeet Tribe of Montana

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Federal investigators offer a $5,000 reward for information that catches whoever killed a grizzly bear, removed the front claws and dumped the carcass on the reservation. The 6-year-old female was producing milk, meaning she likely had at least one cub, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigators said. They believe the mother was shot several times. A motorist found the body Aug. 26 along Montana Route 1, between Heart Butte and Birch Creek, tribal wildlife biologist Dan Carney said. 'What's most disturbing is that it was an adult female, so she was particularly important to the population,'' said Minette Johnson of Defenders of Wildlife, which contributed $2,500 of the reward money. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service contributed the other half. Grizzlies are one of the world's slowest reproducing animals, having cubs only every two or three years, Johnson said. Through a lip tattoo, wildlife managers learned the bear was caught as a cub near Pendroy in 1996 when biologists were trying to trap her mother, who was considered a nuisance bear. Although grizzly claws, some as long as 4 inches, can fetch $40 apiece on the black market, few are killed in Montana for money.