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Jewel of a BC grizzly bear killed

Oct 31, 2013

Jewel and Jinx are two of a handful of females in a cohort of grizzly bears in southwest BC that is disappearing, victims of low numbers, genetic isolation, and too many preventable deaths; all a function of habitat fragmentation.

Jewel of a BC grizzly bear killed

Photo of Jewel near Lillooet, BC; her killers are being sought. Photo: Mick Maxwell

Jewel was a Stein-Nahatlatch grizzly bear from one of the smallest and most isolated grizzly bear populations in British Columbia. She was the only female grizzly bear in living memory to frequent the semi-arid bench lands above the Fraser River near Lillooet, BC.

In 2013 Jewel’s collar stopped sending signals and, months later, was found smashed on a back-country road. BC conservation officers are sure that Jewel is dead, a victim of poaching, since grizzly bear hunting is illegal in the area.

Reward posted

When Jewel first arrived to Lillooet, she didn't arrive alone; she brought her large cub, Jinx. In one of many life lessons, mother was schooling daughter on where to find food in each season.  

Many Lillooet locals saw Jewel and her daughter. But bear researchers were getting nervous that the younger bear was getting much too comfortable around people’s homes.    

Jinx was shot in 2010 in what was described as a livestock-bear conflict situation. Jewel herself remained in the area and avoided people for months following her cub’s death. After many attempts, researchers finally trapped and fitted the bear with a high-tech satellite collar.  

Jewel and Jinx are two of a handful of females in a cohort of bears that is disappearing, victims of low numbers, genetic isolation, and too many preventable deaths; all a function of habitat fragmentation.

A new Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative, including Conservation Northwest, the St'at'imc First Nation, and CPAWS BC have come together to save the grizzly bears of southwest BC and the Cascades. The group aims to protect grizzly bears, safeguard year-round ample habitat, and connect remaining grizzly bear populations.

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