Environmental police investigating death of moose illegally shot in Belchertown

Environmental police are investigating the death of a moose found illegally shot in Belchertown.

Police spokeswoman Katie Gronendyke said the adult female moose was found dead near the Swift River and reported to police around noon on Sunday. She said the moose was shot but couldn’t confirm that’s how it died.

“The environmental police believe the cause of death was not natural causes,’’ she told Boston.com.

Hunting moose is against state law. If convicted, a person can be fined between $500 and $2,000 or be sentenced to six months in jail, Gronendyke said.

In the past five years, Gronendyke said there have been 19 reports to environmental police of a moose being shot.

Advertisement:

It has happened three times this year, she said.

The Swift River Sportsman’s Club said in a Tuesday Facebook post that they’re offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the moose’s death.

[fragment number=0]

Ray Mainville, president of the club, told The Boston Globe he’d never seen an incident like this before and was angered and disturbed by the moose’s death.

“No one from the club would do this,’’ he told the Globe. “We are a sportsman’s club. We want to protect the wildlife, and this is against the law. We love the moose. We see them here all the time.’’

The sportsman’s club also shared a post by a man who said a friend discovered the moose.

[fragment number=1]

Environmental police are asking anyone with information about the incident to call 800-632-8075.

Conversation

This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com