Oregon officials ask public help to find killers of 8 wolves
Officials in Oregon are asking for public assistance to locate the person or persons responsible for poisoning eight wolves in the eastern part of the state earlier this year.
The Oregon State Police has been investigating the killing of all five members of the Catherine Pack in Union County, plus three other wolves from other packs, the agency said in a news release Thursday.
“To my knowledge this is the first wolf pack to be killed by poison in Oregon,” said Capt. Stephanie Bigman of the OSP in Salem. “To my knowledge there are no suspects. All investigative leads have been exhausted and that is why we are reaching out to the public for assistance.”
Wolf advocates were stunned by the news.
“This is horrific,” said Sristi Kamal of Defenders of Wildlife in Portland. “This is quite clearly an intentional and repeat offense.”
Oregon has only about 170 wolves within its borders, and the loss of eight “is so egregious,” Kamal said.
“The poisoning of the Catherine wolf pack is tragic and disgusting” said Sophia Ressler, a staff attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. “No wolf should have to suffer such a fate. Awful events like this show how much more work is needed for us to coexist with these vitally important animals."
A group of conservation and animal protection groups late Thursday said they were offering a combined $26,000 in rewards for information leading to a conviction in the poisonings. The rewards were offered by the Center for Biological Diversity, Cascadia Wildlands, Defenders of Wildlife, The Humane Society of the United States, Northeast Oregon Ecosystems, Oregon Wild, Predator Defense and WildEarth Guardians.
Wolves once ranged most of the U.S. but were wiped out in most places by the 1930s under government-sponsored poisoning and trapping...