PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Oregon State Police say another gray wolf has been illegally shot and killed in northeastern Oregon.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports a female breeding member of the Chesnimnus pack known as OR-23 was discovered dead on Wednesday in Wallowa County.
Officials believe the animal was fatally shot either Sunday or Monday. OR-23 was wearing a radio tracking collar. At last count, the pack had four pups as well as OR-23's mate.
Troopers announced the incident in a news release Friday.
The poaching is the latest in a string of illegal killings in Oregon dating back to 2015, when the state removed the canids from its endangered species list.
Advocates say since then at least nine animals have been deliberately poached or killed under suspicious circumstances.
Oregon State Police news release:
The Oregon State Police is asking for the public's assistance in locating the individual(s) responsible for shooting and killing a wolf in Wallowa County. The wolf was found dead in the Chesnimnus hunt unit in an area known as Cold Springs on Wednesday November 14, 2017. The wolf was a collared wolf known as OR23 and it is believed that it died Sunday or Monday morning (November 12 or 13).
The Oregon State Police is investigating the incident and has found evidence that the wolf was killed by a gunshot. Due to this being an ongoing investigation, no further information will be released at this time.
Poaching (otherwise known as unlawful take) of fish and wildlife, to include wolves, is a problem in Oregon and will be vigorously investigated by the Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division, says Captain Jeff Samuels. As the Division only employs 120 officers statewide, the public's assistance greatly increases the chances of catching persons involved in poaching.
"We are upset and frustrated by the unlawful wolf killings in Oregon," said Doug Cottam, ODFW Wildlife Division administrator. "Poaching of any wildlife is wrong and harmful to their conservation. Please, if you know something about any of these cases, step forward and provide information to OSP, which can be done anonymously."
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Sergeant Chris Hawkins at the La Grande Patrol Office, 541-963-7175 ex 4670. Callers can also stay anonymous by calling the Turn In Poachers (TIP) hotline at 1-800-452-7888.