$30,000 Reward Offered For Information Leading To The Conviction Of Those Responsible For The Deaths Of Four Wolves In Washington

Conservation and animal protection groups announced a combined $30,000 reward last Friday for information leading to a conviction in the illegal killing of four wolves in northeastern Washington earlier this year.

Deputies from the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office discovered four dead wolves on February 18th, while on snowmobile patrol. An incident report indicates that the deputies reported the deaths immediately to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife but didn’t hear back from the agency. Department staff stated for the first time last week that they are actively investigating dead wolves in Stevens County but have not provided further details.

The report did not find any evidence of bullet holes or physical trauma to the wolves, which suggests their deaths may have been the result of poisoning.

“This is devastating news for Washington’s wolves, and each senseless killing must be fully investigated,” said Sophia Ressler, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “If poachers are allowed to get off scot-free, it only encourages them to kill again. Fish and Wildlife must follow through and bring the perpetrators to justice.”

“The Department has chosen to paint a glowing picture of wolf recovery in Washington, rather than be honest with the public about this tragedy,” said Samantha Bruegger, executive director of Washington Wildlife First. “The public, and the wolves, deserve better. We call on the Department to be open with the public about the extent of the illegal killing of wolves in the state, and we ask the public to provide whatever information they can to aid in this investigation.”

“If this is in fact a poisoning situation, putting poison out on the landscape for any unsuspecting creature to feed on is one of the most loathsome things a person can do,” said Brooks Fahy, executive director of Predator Defense, a national nonprofit advocacy group. “It’s not just about killing wolves. It’s also about wanting them to suffer. Poisons also pose a serious threat to other wildlife and pets and are a public safety risk.”

“WDFW likes to boast widely about their successful wolf recovery efforts, while continuously hiding key information from the public about the detriment to wolves,” said Steph Taylor, president of Speak for Wolves. “Washington has a poaching problem and wildlife managers need to be more responsible when it comes to promoting education about co-existence with native endangered species. They also need to step up their game in holding these disturbed poachers accountable. Otherwise, this shoot, shovel, shut up culture will continue to thrive.”

“For the last few years, the Northwest Animal Rights Network (NARN) has been critical of wolf recovery efforts in Washington because these efforts have been wrought with politics every step of the way,” says Rachel Bjork, NARN’s president. “The fact that we are just now hearing about these wolf deaths months later, and not directly from WDFW, leads us to believe that the department has no real interest in accountability to the public.”

“We are disgusted by this illegal wolf slaughter and disappointed in the way the Department has handled it,” said Jocelyn Leroux, Washington and Montana director of Western Watersheds Project. “Washington’s wolves deserve better treatment and the people of Washington deserve transparency.”

The $30,000 reward is being offered by the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Northwest Animal Rights Network, Predator Defense, Speak for Wolves, Washington Wildlife First, and Western Watersheds Project.

Anyone who has information regarding this incident should call the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife at (360) 902-2928, visit the department’s website and report a violation, or text WDFWTIP to 847411.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

More on this topic

Popular stories

Cruel Cockfighting Ring Busted In California Where Close To 150 Roosters Were Euthanized

Photos from Riverside County Animal Services A horrific illegal cockfighting ring that took place late Friday night in Jurupa Valley, California, was busted by...

Washington Governor Jay Inslee Orders New Rules Drafted By Fish & Wildlife To Prioritize Nonlethal Methods Over Killing Wolves

In a win for wolves, Governor Jay Inslee directed the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission to draft new rules regarding conflict with livestock and...

Oceana Demands Emergency Protection For Critically Endangered North Atlantic Right Whales, Especially Moms & Calves During Calving Season

Oceana filed an emergency rulemaking petition earlier this week demanding that immediate action be taken to save critically endangered North Atlantic right whales. This...