10/17/2013 04:07 EDT | Updated 12/17/2013 05:12 EST

Grizzly missing, presumed dead after radio collar found

B.C.'s Conservation Officer Service is looking for the public's help in tracking down a possible killer, after a female grizzly named "Jewel" went missing near Lillooet.

Jewel, one of six females in the highly-threatened Stein-Nahatalatch grizzly bear population, which are unique due to their genetic isolation, was being tracked by the St'at'imc First Nation, the Foothills Research Institute and the Ministry of Environment using a radio collar.

Jewel was last seen in October 2012, and in June the bear's radio collar was discovered by a survey crew near Texas Creek, which is about 20 kilometres south of Lillooet and 260 kilometres northeast of Vancouver.

Sgt. Cynthia Mann, of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, says Jewel is presumed dead and her office wants to find the poacher who killed the grizzly.

"We're hoping that people will have a conscience when they realize how important this bear was. She's unique because, you know, coming from that population that is threatened," Mann said.

Jewel was considered vital to ongoing studies of the area's grizzly bear population.

Anyone with information about what happened to Jewel are asked to call the government's Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) hotline at 1-877-952-7277.

The BC Wildlife Federation says it pays rewards of up to $2,000 for information leading to the conviction of people who violate laws related to the protection of fish, wildlife or the environment.