Reward for Information About Oregon Wolf Poaching Reaches $80,000

by Taylor Cunningham
reward-for-information-about-oregon-wolf-poaching-reaches-80000

Authorities and various groups are offering more than $80,000 to anyone who comes forward with information about wolf poaching in northern Oregon.

Since last year, 11 endangered wolves have been illegally killed. And authorities have no clues about the person or people responsible.

The first poaching happened on February 9th, 2021. Oregon Wolf Program Coordinator Roblyn Brown sent the Oregon State Police to investigate after a wolf collar alerted inactivity from a marked animal. When they arrived, they found five dead wolves and one dead magpie.

The following month, the poacher killed another wolf and magpie and also a skunk near La Grande. Then in April, OSP found a male from the Five Points Pack around the same area. In July, police found a dead female wolf from the Clark Creek Pack, also near La Grande.

Wolf Poaching Problem Returns to Oregon This Year

This past February, the killer struck again after seven months. This time it was a female dubbed OR 109. She had been in Cove, OR. And on March 25th, police found a young male dead in Richland, Oregon.

Authorities sent all the remains to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wildlife forensics lab in Ashland, Oregon for further investigation. The results showed that at least seven of the animals died from poison. Authorities are still waiting for autopsy results from the most recent killing.

Because wolves are on the endangered list, the federal government protects them from hunting. In some cases, the Oregon Department of Federal Wildlife does allow farmers to kill the animals if they are targeting livestock. However, ODSP must first perform a thorough investigation.

If a farmer catches a wolf actively killing livestock, they can kill the animal. However, they have to preserve the scene to prove the incident and notify authorities within 24 hours.

But aside from cases of wolves endangering humans, they’re protected under the Endangered Species Act. And if a person is caught targeting the animal, they can face prison time.

Multiple Organizations Offering Money for Information about Poachers

As of 2020, the state reported a minimum count of 173 wolves, which was up 9.5% from the previous year. But the poaching is taking a toll on the progress.

Currently, police have no suspects in the case and they’re asking the public for more information.

To help find the person responsible, over a dozen conservation and hunting organizations have donated money to a reward fund. If someone has information that leads to a conviction, the group will hand over $50,000. On top of that, two Oregon districts are offering another $22,500 and $11,500 for information about wolf poaching.

People with information can call the Oregon State Police at the TIP line at (800) 452-7888, or *OSP(677), or send an email at [email protected]

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