Sunday, December 10, 2006

Reward for Colorado lynx-shooting case grows

Organizations, businessman now offer $12,000 for information

December 9, 2006
By Ted Holteen, Herald Staff Writer

The reward for information leading to the arrest of whoever shot either of two lynx in the mountains north of Durango has increased once again.

A $2,500 pledge from the Animal Assistance Foundation in Denver and three local contributions raised the reward money to more than $12,000.

The reward has increased steadily since the animals were shot in separate incidents in late October. The first lynx was shot twice with a high-powered rifle in the Hermosa Park area, and the other was shot with a shotgun north of Silverton.

What began as a $500 reward offered by the Colorado Division of Wildlife grew to its current amount with contributions from 10 other organizations before the latest from the Animal Assistance Foundation, local businessman George Vandenberg, Durango Mountain Resort and the Great Old Broads for Wilderness.

Patt Dorsey, the area wildlife manager for the DOW in Durango, said that rewards yield mixed results in cases like these, but the money often draws information from people who otherwise might not be inclined to speak up.

"For people who have a real strong sense of right and wrong, I wouldn't say it's much of an incentive. But for somebody that comes at it from a different place, then maybe it is," Dorsey said. "Maybe if it's your neighbor or someone from your hunting party you're less likely to turn them in without that added incentive."

Dorsey said that often people don't realize they've seen something that could help track down a perpetrator and therefore don't come forward with information, but that type of person often provides information to break a case.

"What we're looking for is anybody that was in the area during that time period that might have noticed a suspicious vehicle or had a conversation with someone who said something odd," Dorsey said. "We're going to follow up every lead. If it's nothing, itno big deal. It doesn't take us long to determine that. But if it is helpful, it might be the one lead that leads to something else. Every lead's an important lead."

Anyone with information about the lynx killings or who was in the Hermosa drainage or Silverton areas at the end of October is asked to call the Durango DOW office at 247-0855 or Operation Game Thief at (877) 265-6648. news061209_4.htm

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