The late Timothy Treadwell, a member of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Board of Advisers, died almost a year ago in the Katmai National Park in Alaska. He died from a bear attack.
One of the reasons that Tim claimed he stayed in Katmai longer than he intended last year was the presence of bear poachers.
After his death, his critics and especially the news media in Alaska ridiculed Tim's claim that there were active poachers in Katmai. They disputed his claim that he had not only found evidence of poaching camps but also his annual long summer visits were discouraging poaching in Katmai.
The facts speak for themselves.
During the fourteen summers that Timothy Treadwell spent in the area he referred to as the Grizzly Maze, he was able to prevent the poaching of the bears that he watched over. He had been threatened but the poachers knew that killing a bear in Katmai was illegal and left the area when they saw him or saw evidence of his camp.
This year, the consequences of Tim's absence brought tragedy upon the Katmai Grizzly population.
Four Grizzly bears were senselessly slain last week in Katmai National Park and a young Grizzly cub is missing. There is now a criminal investigation by National Park Service rangers assisted by Alaska State Troopers.
The first three bears found over the weekend included a 500-pound nursing mother and her 300-pound, two- to three-year-old cub. They were viciously slaughtered near Funnel Creek, about 12 miles south of Iliamna Lake in Katmai, 120 miles west of Homer, Alaska. A third bear was found a little further down the stream from the other two. A fourth bear was shot a few days later.
Because the first bear was a nursing mother, a young cub has been orphaned and is missing and will most likely die.
Claws were removed from the bears although the hides were left on the carcasses. The bodies were mutilated indicating the possibility that the gall bladders were taken. The gall bladders are in demand by the Asian quack medical profession.
On Tuesday, August 10, Captain Paul Watson contacted ranger Missy Epping at the Katmai National Park and offered a $5,000 reward to be added to the $10,000 reward already announced by the Alaska Wildlife Alliance.
"I am hopeful that the rewards will bring forth information that will lead to the arrest of the sadistic killer or killers responsible for this despicable slaughter," said Captain Paul Watson, the President of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society based in Friday Harbor, Washington.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is directing people with information relevant to this case to contact Katmai National Park and Preserve at 1-907-246-2127.