UPDATE: $40,000 Reward Offered For Information Resulting In The Conviction Of Those Responsible For The Fatal Poisoning Of Eight Gray Wolves In Oregon
Update – December 8th: An additional $14,000 has been added to the reward by Peace 4 Animals, World Animal News, Wolves of the Rockies, Trap Free Montana, and The 06 Legacy Project, for information leading to a conviction in the poisoning and killing of eight gray wolves, bringing the total award to $40,000.
December 2nd: Conservation and animal protection groups are offering a combined $26,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in the deliberate poisoning and killing of eight gray wolves in eastern Oregon earlier this year.
“These despicable poisonings are a huge setback for the recovery of Oregon’s endangered wolves, and we need an all-out response from state officials,” Sophia Ressler, a staff attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. “Catching the culprit is critical, but Oregon also needs to think hard about what more can be done to protect these incredibly vulnerable animals. We hope anyone with info on these killings steps forward, and we hope wildlife officials see this as a wake-up call.”
Tragically, on February 9th, Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division Troopers found the five members of the Catherine wolf pack, three male and two female, dead at a location southeast of Mount Harris in Union County. On March 11th, troopers detected a mortality signal in the same location and found a slain wolf; a radio-collared female that had dispersed from the Keating pack.
Two more collared wolves were subsequently found dead in Union County. In April, an adult male wolf from the Five Points pack was discovered west of Elgin, and in July, a young female wolf from the Clark Creek pack was found northeast of La Grande.
According to the Oregon State Police, toxicology reports confirmed the presence of differing types of poison in both wolves. Investigators determined that the death of the young female wolf may be related to the earlier six poisonings.
“Poisoning wildlife is a profoundly dangerous and serious crime, putting imperiled species, companion animals, and people all at risk,” said Bethany Cotton, conservation director for Cascadia Wildlands. “We call on those with information about this reckless killing to come forward to protect Oregon’s wildlife and our communities.”
“A majority of Oregonians are disgusted by poachers and those who would indiscriminately poison and kill wildlife,” said Danielle Moser, wildlife program coordinator at Oregon Wild. “Unfortunately, there remains a persistent culture of poaching in Oregon. This culture is emboldened by politicians and interest groups that demonize imperiled wildlife like wolves and then turn the other way when laws are broken. When people are told that native wildlife should be resented and feared, it’s no wonder they take matters into their own hands in the incredibly ugly fashion we witness here.”
Lizzy Pennock of WildEarth Guardians, called the “loss of these wolves, in addition to extensive lethal removals at the hands of the Department this year,” a stark reminder of the need to enhance proactive nonlethal measures in wolf management to foster coexistence.
Anyone with information about this case should contact the Oregon State Police Tip Line at (800) 452-7888 or *OSP (677) or TIP E-Mail: TIP@state.or.us. Callers may remain anonymous.
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