Charges dropped in grizzly bear shooting
September 7, 2011 4:02 p.m. - Updated: 6:02 p.m.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office has dropped misdemeanor charges against a Porthill, Idaho, man who shot and killed a grizzly bear in his yard.
Instead, Jeremy M. Hill was issued a citation for the May 8 shooting of the male grizzly, and paid a $1,000 fine.
A press release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office said that state and federal wildlife officials were unable to establish the location of Hill’s children when three grizzly bears were first sighted in the yard, about forty yards from the Hill home. Hill told law enforcement officers that he last saw his children outside playing basketball in front of their home, but that he didn’t know where his children were when he saw the three grizzly bears near his pig pen. The two other bears ran off after Hill shot the 2-year-old male.
U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson said that dismissal of the criminal charge was based in part on Hill’s prompt notification of the shooting to Idaho Fish & Game officials.
“The United States Attorney’s Office well understands Mr. Hill is a concerned husband and father who wants to protect his family,” said Olson. “Anyone who observes or hears of a grizzly bear near campsites or residences must immediately contact fish and wildlife officials.”
She said federal, State and Tribal officials are required to act immediately to remove grizzly bears from populated areas. The regulations are designed to keep people safe and protect grizzly bears, which are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, Olson said.