A wolf of the Wenaha Pack captured on a remote camera on U.S. Forest Service land in northern Wallowa County in February 2017 (photo by ODFW). [The wolf pictured here is NOT the one recently killed].

Press Release: Groups Offer Reward for Another Recent Illegal Wolf Killing

February 23, 2022
Bethany Cotton, Cascadia Wildlands, (503) 327-4923, bethany@cascwild.org
Kelly Peterson, Humane Society of the United States, (503) 869-0422, kpeterson@humanesociety.org
Sophia Ressler, Center for Biological Diversity, (206) 399-4004, sressler@biologicaldiversity.org
Brooks Fahy, Predator Defense, (541) 520-6003, brooks@predatordefense.org
Danielle Moser, Oregon Wild, (503) 975-0482, dm@oregonwild.org
Hawk Hammer, Defenders of Wildlife, (202) 772-0295, hhamer@defenders.org
Darilyn Parry Brown, Greater Hells Canyon Council, (541) 963-3950 x 700, darilyn@hellscanyon.org

$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 TIP@state.or.us. 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.

Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Cascadia Wildlands defends and restores Cascadia’s wild ecosystems in the forests, in the courts and in the streets.

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities.

Greater Hells Canyon Council‘s mission is to connect, protect, and restore the wild lands, waters, native species and habitats of the Greater Hells Canyon Region, ensuring a legacy of healthy ecosystems for future generations.

Founded in 1954, the Humane Society of the United States fights the big fights to end suffering for all animals. Together with millions of supporters, we take on puppy mills, factory farms, trophy hunts, animal testing and other cruel industries. With our affiliates, we rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals every year through our animal rescue team’s work and other hands-on animal care services. We fight all forms of animal cruelty to achieve the vision behind our name: A humane society. Learn more about our work at humanesociety.org.

Oregon Wild works to protect and restore Oregon’s wildlands, wildlife and waters as an enduring legacy for future generations.

Predator Defense is a national nonprofit advocacy organization devoted to protecting essential native predators, helping people learn to coexist with wild animals, and ending America’s war on wildlife. They have been championing native predators with science, sanity, and heart since 1990.