A grizzly bear was mistakenly killed by a hunter in Washington last week. The incident occurred north of Upper Priest Lake, and the hunter, from Centralia, Washington, reported the incident himself to wildlife officials. He claimed that he had misidentified the grizzly bear as a black bear before shooting it.
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game issued the hunter a citation because he failed to positively identify his target before taking the shot. However, the agency has a policy of not revealing the names of hunters involved in cases of mistaken identity if they self-report.
The case was sent to the Boundary County Prosecutor, who identified the hunter as Daniel J. Pink, a 47-year-old from Centralia. Pink faces a misdemeanor charge for taking a game animal during a closed season. The incident has sparked concerns among environmentalists, who are calling for mandatory tests to ensure hunters can differentiate between black and grizzly bears.
This incident follows a similar one in which a hunter mistakenly shot a grizzly bear near Yellowstone National Park. The killing of the grizzly bear in Boundary County highlights the need for proper bear safety techniques in North Idaho, as recent grizzly bear sightings have been reported in the area.
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game estimates that there are approximately 150 to 175 grizzly bears in the region. Wildlife officials emphasize the importance of correctly identifying bears before shooting, as mistaken identity cases can have severe consequences for the endangered species.