Kelly Peterson, Humane Society of the United States, (503) 869-0422, [email protected]
$22,500 Reward Offered for Info on Illegal Killing of Wolf in Northeast Oregon
PORTLAND, Ore.— Conservation and animal-protection groups announced a combined $22,500 reward today for information leading to a conviction in the killing of a collared wolf outside the town of Cove in Northeast Oregon.
On Feb. 15 Oregon State Police troopers, investigating a report from wildlife officials, found a collared wolf lying dead in a field. The troopers believe the black female wolf to be OR-109, who had been shot and killed that morning.
This killing follows 2021’s fatal poisoning of eight wolves in the same area of the state and another similar killing by firearm in January 2022, making this the 10th illegal killing over the past year alone. The combined reward offered by conservation groups for the killings totals at least $66,500.
“This onslaught of wolf killings in Oregon is deeply upsetting,” said Sophia Ressler, an Oregon-based staff attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “We need to find the poacher and hold them accountable for killing this precious wolf. We have a wolf-poaching crisis on our hands, and Oregon officials must take strong action.”
“Oregon’s wolf-poaching crisis is reaching a critical level,” said Kelly Peterson, Oregon state director at the Humane Society of the United States. “The death of OR-109 at the hands of a poacher is infuriating, especially given all of the other losses Oregon’s precious few wolves have suffered over the past two years. While this reward cannot bring her back, we hope it brings these cruel actors to justice and helps finally put an end to the illegal slaughter of our wolves.”
“Criminality continues in Oregon, bringing the total wolves illegally killed to 10, with no sign of rightful prosecution in sight,” said Brooks Fahy, executive director of Predator Defense, an Oregon-based national wildlife advocacy nonprofit. “Eight poisonings and two shootings in the last year, and not a word from Gov. Brown. It is absolutely critical that the perpetrator(s) be caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
“Our hearts are breaking at another senseless killing of this iconic species,” said Darilyn Parry Brown, executive director of Greater Hells Canyon Council in La Grande, Oregon.
“The number of wolves poached in Oregon is growing sickeningly high,” said Sristi Kamal, senior northwest representative for Defenders of Wildlife. “This lone female wolf was gunned down during her search for territory and a mate. Her death is yet another grim example of why emergency federal protections for wolves are desperately needed in the eastern half of our state. Each wolf lost to poaching is a significant hit to Oregon’s wolf population’s slow recovery.”
“This rash of wolf poaching is undermining wolf recovery in Oregon,” said Bethany Cotton, conservation director with Cascadia Wildlands. “We call on Oregon law enforcement to immediately dedicate all resources necessary to identifying the perpetrators and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”
Anyone with information about any of these cases should contact the Oregon State Police TIP line at (800) 452-7888 or *OSP (677) or by e-mail at [email protected]. Callers may remain anonymous.
The $22,500 in combined rewards are offered by the Center for Biological Diversity, Cascadia Wildlands, Defenders of Wildlife, Greater Hells Canyon Council, the Humane Society of the United States, Oregon Wild and Predator Defense.