WALLOWA, Ore — Oregon State Police are asking for the public’s help as they search for someone who illegally shot and killed a wolf in northeast Oregon.
A resident called state troopers Saturday after finding a 2-year-old female wolf fitted with a tracking collar dead about 6 miles (9.6 kilometers) southeast of the town of Wallowa, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
The wolf was known as OR 106 and was not traveling with other animals after dispersing from the Chesnimnus Pack. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists was determined the wolf died of a gunshot wound.
On Thursday, conservation groups announced a $16,500 reward for information that leads to a conviction in the case.
The wolf is one of several that have been poached in eastern Oregon in the past 12 months.
At least eight wolves were fatally poisoned in eastern Oregon last year in Union County. A reward of nearly $50,000 has been offered in the poisonings.
Tension between wolf advocates and ranchers, whose livestock has at times been preyed upon by the canids, has festered in Oregon since the animals began repopulating the state in the 2000s.
The state of Oregon killed six wolves from the Lookout Mountain Pack, in Baker County, last year after attacks on livestock in the area.
The latest count, as measured at the end of 2020, put the minimum number of wolves in Oregon at 173.
Wolves once ranged most of the U.S. but were wiped out in most places by the 1930s under government-sponsored poisoning and trapping campaigns.