ST. GEORGE — Officials have increased the reward amount for information about the poaching of a pregnant elk in Zion National Park.
The poaching is believed to have occurred Jan. 20 after the elk’s remains were found in the Lee Valley area off Kolob Terrace Road.
A reward of $1,500 was increased to $2,000 Thursday for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the party responsible for the killing.
The reward was increased due to a strong interest by the community in finding the violators, Zion National Park spokesman John Marciano said.
“Help from the public will play a crucial role in finding those responsible,” the National Park Service said in a news release.
The NPS and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources are investigating the incident.
The poaching occurred during a temporary shutdown of the federal government when the park was unstaffed.
Evidence, including a partial hide and gut pile, was collected at the scene, but authorities said further information from the public will be essential in identifying the responsible party.
Illegally killing an elk carries a fine of up to $8,000 in Utah, and whoever is responsible would also face federal charges for poaching within the boundaries of a national park.
Anyone with information about the poaching incident is encouraged to call or text the NPS Investigative Services Branch tip line at 888-653-0009 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Tips can also be submitted online.
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