Three protected wolves​ illegally killed in Oregon, over 30k in rewards offered

An Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists collars a wolf in 2015. Credit: ODFW

The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service says another protected wolf was found dead in Southern Oregon last week. This is the third incident in about a years time.

OR-25

A radio-collared gray wolf was found dead on October 29 near Fort Klamath. The wolf, known as OR-25 was collared as a yearling in 2014. OR-25 was believed to be about 4 years old. Officials do not think OR-25 was part of any pack at the time of its death.

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OR-25, a radio-collared​ male grey wolf that wandered from northeast Oregon in 2015 and took up residence in southern Oregon. Credit: Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife

It is a violation of the Endangered Species Act to kill a gray wolf, which is listed as endangered in the western two-thirds of Oregon. USFWS is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person(s) responsible for the death of OR-25.

“We need everyone’s help to catch this killer.”

OR-33

In early October federal officials confirmed that OR-33 was also illegally killed. Officials discovered the body of OR-33 in late April 2017. Forensics labs determined that the wolf died of gunshot wounds.

Illegal Killing of Oregon Wolf
OR-33 dispersed from the Imnaha Pack in northeastern Oregon in November 2015 and was not known to be part of any pack. Credit: USFWS and ODFW

Wildlife advocates with the Defenders of Wildlife organization offered an additional $10,500 reward to be coupled with the governments $5000.

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“Poaching is a huge and growing problem in Oregon,” Quinn Read, Northwest representative for Defenders of Wildlife, said in a statement. “We need everyone’s help to catch this killer.”

OR-28

On Oct. 6, 2016, a female wolf, OR-28, was found dead relatively close to where OR-25 was recently discovered.

The nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity said it would add $10,000 to the $5,000 offered by the Fish and Wildlife Service leading to information about the death of OR-28.

According to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s December 2016 population count, there is a minimum of 112 wolves in the state, which is a 75 percent increase since December 2013.

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