offered for info on wolf-killing poacher
Herald and News 10/26/17
PORTLAND — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and five
conservation groups have teamed up to offer $15,500 for
information about the illegal poaching of a federally protected
gray wolf that was shot dead in a national forest near Klamath
Falls on April 23.
The wolf, known as OR-33, was being tracked by authorities and
is one of at least eight that have been poached or died under
mysterious circumstances in the state since 2015, the
conservation groups said.
The groups in a statement Tuesday said OR-33 was found dead of
gunshot wounds in Fremont Winema National Forest on April 23.
DNA tests only recently confirmed that he was OR-33, a
4-year-old male who left a pack in northeast Oregon in 2015. His
radio tracking collar stopped working last year.
Over two days in June, he killed two goats and one lamb at a
small livestock operation near the small city of Ashland just
north of Oregon’s border with California.
The federal agency is offering $5,000 for information about the
poaching and the conservation groups are offering an additional
“Wolf recovery in Oregon depends on wolves like OR-33 making
their way west and thriving, so his death is a major setback. We
hope someone will do the right thing and come forward with
information,” said Amaroq Weiss, West Coast wolf advocate at the
Center for Biological Diversity.
Killing gray wolves in the western two-thirds of Oregon is a
violation of the federal Endangered Species Act and of Oregon
state game laws.
The federal offense is punishable by up to a $100,000 fine, a
year in jail, or both. The maximum state penalty is a fine of
$6,250 and a year in jail.
In 2016, OR-33 roamed almost within Ashland’s city limits and
was seen by numerous residents, according to the Statesman
Wolves in Oregon hunt deer, elk, bighorn sheep and goats, but
also can target livestock and are loathed by many livestock
State wildlife officials say 141 livestock or domestic animals
have been killed by wolves in Oregon since they began returning
to the state in the late 1990s.
In 2016, wildlife officials estimated a minimum of 112 wolves
lived in Oregon in 11 packs that included eight breeding pairs.
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