Reward offered after cub bear shot and killed in Estes Park

5:50 PM, Sep 19, 2012   |    comments
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The cub suffered for hours and nearly drowned in a creek as its mother paced nearby, according to witnesses.

"Very stressed and very emotional," said Jayne Zmijewski, who volunteered in response and watched the mother bear cry out to her cub as it suffered.

The 20 pound cub nearly drowned in the creek. Although Zmijewski and another responder got the cub out of the creek, the bear died soon thereafter from a gunshot wound.

"Unbelievable, absolutely unbelievable," Johanna Darden, with a group called Bears Are Us, said.

She and others want to know who shot the cub. Officials don't know why the bear was shot. Members of the group say the shooter is a killer who needs to be held responsible for his or her actions.

"I was crying. How can anybody be so cruel to shoot a little 20 pound bear cub?" Susan Wolf said. "The lab report said she had a belly full of berries in her stomach. She wasn't in the trash."

Bears are Us has raised $1,500 in the last week for a reward for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible. Operation Game Thief is offering a $500 reward, as well.

To offer information about what happened, you are asked to call 1-877-COLO-OGT or to email

If you want to contact Bears Are Us, please call 303-747-2911 or email

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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