The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of whoever was responsible for killing a federally protected gray wolf in south-central Oregon.
On April 23, 2017, a canid carcass was found about 20 miles northwest of Klamath Falls on the Fremont-Winema National Forest. The carcass was sent to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Forensics Labs in Ashland for a necropsy, which determined that it was a male gray wolf known as OR-33, and that it died from gunshot wounds. The Service does not have an estimated date of when the wolf was shot.
OR-33 dispersed from the Imnaha Pack in northeastern Oregon in November 2015, and was not known to be part of any pack. The approximately 4-year-old wolf had a collar, but it quit transmitting in August of 2016.
The Mail Tribune reports the wolf had been blamed for a three-day livestock killing spree east of Ashland in June 2016. OR-33 was blamed for killing two goats, one sheep and injuring a third sheep.
It is a violation of the Endangered Species Act to kill a gray wolf, which is listed as endangered in the western two-thirds of Oregon. It is also a violation of Oregon state game laws. The Oregon State Police and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are working together on the investigation.
Anyone with information about this case should call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at (503) 682-6131, or Oregon State Police Tip Line at (800) 452-7888. Callers may remain anonymous.