Reward offered in shooting death of young wolf

PORTLAND, Ore. — A reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the shooting death of a female wolf in Wallowa County in early January.

Conservation groups announced the $16,500 reward in the illegal shooting of the 2-year-old wolf designated OR-106 by state wildlife biologists.

“We want justice for this young wolf, who was simply seeking a mate and territory of her own before her life was cut tragically short by a bullet,” said Amaroq Weiss, senior wolf advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity. “We call on the state to show its commitment to holding perpetrators accountable by having its Department of Justice launch an independent, thorough investigation into this most recent killing, and past unsolved illegal killings of Oregon’s wolves.”

The shooting follows the illegal poisoning deaths of multiple wolves last year in northeast Oregon. Eight wolves from four different packs, including all members of the Catherine Pack, were poisoned in neighboring Union County between February and July 2021.

“The senseless killing of the young female wolf OR-106 is a crime against this animal and all who care about Oregon’s wildlife,” said Brooks Fahy, executive director of Predator Defense, an Oregon-based national wildlife advocacy nonprofit. “It is absolutely critical that the perpetrator of this crime be caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

Adam Bronstein, Oregon/Nevada director of Western Watersheds Project, said there doesn’t seem to be enough of a deterrent to end the ongoing wolf killings. He asks that the governor and other government officials take action to investigate the killings.

Danielle Moser of Oregon Wild said that when poachers get away with breaking the law it only leads to more poaching.

“This is a result of wolves losing their endangered species protections coupled with a culture of poaching permissiveness. For far too long, poachers have been emboldened by those who excuse and celebrate their criminal acts without fear of consequences,” she said.

Bethany Cotton of Cascadia Wildlands and others also spoke out against the killings.

KEZI 9 News has reached out to the governor’s office for a response to the concerns raised by the conservation groups.

The wolf was found Saturday morning on Parsnip Creek Road, six miles southwest of Wallowa in the Sled Springs game management unit. The young female was a lone wolf that had left the Chesnimnus Pack, whose territory is in northern Wallowa County.