A dead grizzly bear found near Seeley Lake has sparked an investigation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

"We are seeking information on the shooting death of a male grizzly bear that was found alongside Highway 83, approximately 10 miles north of Seeley Lake in west-central Montana," U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Ryan Moehring said. "We retrieved the bear's carcass on November 6 and we estimate that it died somewhere between November 3 and November 5."

Grizzly bears are a protected species and a reward is being offered to anyone who can help in the search for a poacher.

"Grizzly bears are managed by the USFWS. They are a protected species under the Endangered Species Act," Moehring said. "There is an investigation underway. We are working with Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks on the investigation. We are offering a reward of up to $2,000 for any information leading to a conviction."

Shooting a grizzly bear can bring big fines. Earlier this year a Browning man was ordered to pay $30,000 in restitution after being convicted of shooting three grizzly bears on his property.

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