Authorities in Oregon are hoping that a member of the public will help lead them to whoever is responsible for killing an entire wolf pack in eastern Oregon earlier this year. Last week, the Oregon State Police issued a release about their attempts to find whoever killed the Catherine Wolf Pack via poisoning.
The release recounts the details of the initial finding:
On February 9, 2021, Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division Troopers received information from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) regarding a possibly deceased, collared wolf. Troopers responded to the area and located five deceased wolves, three males, and two females. It was later determined the wolves were from the Catherine Pack, with all known members present and deceased. The wolves were located southeast of Mount Harris, within Union County. Fish and Wildlife Troopers and ODFW personnel with the assistance of a helicopter searched the area for anything of evidentiary value. An additional deceased magpie was also found in the vicinity of the deceased wolves.
In March, another deceased female wolf was found thanks to a mortality signal coming from a collar that the wolf was wearing. In the area, wildlife officials also located a deceased magpie and skunk.
The deceased animals underwent a necropsy which revealed poisoning as the cause of death. Troopers searched the area and discovered evidence of “suspected poisoning” that was revealed as the snow melted.
In April 2021, a deceased adult male wolf from the Five Points Pack was located west of Elgin and in July 2021, a young female wolf from the Clark Creek Pack was located northeast of La Grande. In both cases the cause of death was not readily apparent, a necropsy and testing were conducted. Toxicology reports confirmed the presence of differing types of poison in both wolves. Based upon the type of poison and locations, it was determined the death of the young female wolf may be related to the earlier six poisonings.
Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Troopers is asking any person with information related to this investigation to contact the Oregon State Police through the OSP TIP Hotline: 1-800-452-7888 or *OSP (677) or TIP E-Mail: TIP@state.or.us. Please reference Case #SP21-033033.
Marc Cooke, president of Wolves of the Rockies, commented on the tragic deaths:
“We were heartbroken to hear of these horrific and inhumane killings, and condemn in the strongest terms this atrocity. But this slaughter did not occur in a vacuum. We hope to see those responsible for the illegal killings brought to justice. To further this aim Wolves of the Rockies, Trap Free Montana, and The 06 Legacy Project are increasing the award by an additional $10,000. Lastly, we urge the federal government to take action to protect the species by restoring wolves to the Endangered Species List.”
As reported by KTVZ News, a reward fund from several agencies has grown to $36,000.
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