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OSP investigating after yet another protected wolf killed in eastern Oregon

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Wallowa wolf kill.jpg

WALLOWA, Ore. — Oregon State Police has asked for help from the public after yet another protected wolf was discovered dead in eastern Oregon, apparently having been shot.

OSP said that a concerned citizen reported the discovery on the morning of January 8. Troopers and Oregon Department of Fish and Wldlife staff responded to find a collared wolf dead on Parsnip Creek Road, about six miles southeast of Wallowa.

An initial investigation found that the wolf had been shot and likely died as a result. The wolf, listed as OR 106, was a 2-year-old female — a lone wolf dispersed from the Chesnimnus Pack.

“This wolf’s lonely death highlights why Oregon needs to establish a special prosecutor’s office for wildlife-related crime,” said Amaroq Weiss, senior wolf advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Oregon’s wolves are in extreme danger from illegal killings, and the killers often escape consequences. In the past 21 years, 30 wolves have been illegally killed, and the deaths of two others were deemed mysterious. The state needs to do much more to investigate and punish these sickening crimes.”

OSP revealed earlier this year that it was investigating a spate of deadly poisonings that had killed eight wolves in 2021, at least seven of them seemingly connected.

While gray wolf populations in Oregon have been rebounding steadily over the past several years, wolf killings have also increased sharply — both sanctioned and unsanctioned. In August, state wildlife officials had multiple members of the Lookout Mountain Pack killed in Baker County after concluding that the pack presented "significant risk" to livestock. In 2020, also in Baker County, OSP was investigating the unlawful killing of several wolves.

According to the Center for Biological Diversity, only three illegal wolf killings in Oregon have resulted in prosecution and conviction.

OSP is urging anyone with information regarding this case to call the Oregon State Police Tip-line at 1-800-452-7888, *OSP (*677), or email at TIP@state.or.us. Reference case # SP22006179.

The Oregon Hunters Association TIP reward offers preference points or cash rewards for information leading to an arrest or issuance of a citation for the unlawful take/possession or waste of wolves and other animals, with $300 offered as a reward for the illegal taking or waste of bears, cougars, and wolves.

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