Watch CBSN Live

Feds probe shooting of famed Yellowstone grizzly "Scarface"

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK - Federal officials are investigating the death of one of Yellowstone National Park's most well-known grizzly bears, reports CBS affiliate KPAX.

The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks has confirmed that the bear known to researchers as No. 211, but more widely recognized as "Scarface," was shot and killed in November 2015. The bear was killed north of Gardiner, Montana, in Gallatin National Forest.

The bear was nicknamed "Scarface" because of distinctive scars on the right side of his face that researchers said were likely the result of fights with other male grizzlies over females or food.

The bear was known to many photographers and wildlife watchers and his life was well-documented, according to officials.

"In his prime, No. 211 weighed approximately 600 pounds. At his last capture in 2015, he had lost nearly half of his body weight, weighing in at only 338 pounds," officials said in a press release. "His body condition was probably linked to his advanced age of 25 years. Less than 5 percent of male bears born in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem survive to 25 years."

The grizzly bear is protected by both the federal government and the State of Montana as a threatened species.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service routinely investigates incidents affecting threatened and endangered species and is conducting an investigation into the death of "Scarface" with the assistance of state authorities.