Reward for info on poisoned wolves climbs to nearly $50K


FILE – This Feb., 2017, file photo provided by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife shows a gray wolf in Oregon’s northern Wallowa County. Officials in Oregon are asking for help locating the person or persons responsible for poisoning an entire wolf pack in the eastern part of the state earlier this year. The Oregon State Police said Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, it has been investigating the killing of all five members of the Catherine Pack in Union County, plus three other wolves from other packs. (Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife via AP, File)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A reward for information leading to an arrest or citation in connection with the poisoning of a wolf pack in Oregon and three other wolves has climbed to nearly $50,000, officials announced Wednesday.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced non-profit groups and members of the public have pledged a total of $47,736 as of Dec. 15 as a reward for information leading to the person or persons responsible for the poisonings of Oregon’s Catherine wolf pack — which consisted of five wolves — and three other wolves in Eastern Oregon earlier this year.

The poisoning investigation was announced earlier this month by Oregon State Police.

In addition to the wolves, Oregon State Police troopers found two dead magpies and a skunk between February and March 2021 that had died from poisoning. However, the type of poison used is unclear and officials did not indicate whether the animals ingested the same kind of poison.

“The poisoning of Oregon’s wolves is a dark event in wolf recovery, but these ever-increasing reward pledges offer a ray of hope that those responsible will be arrested and prosecuted,” Amaroq Weiss, a senior wolf advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement.

Yvonne Shaw, ODFW Stop Poaching campaign coordinator, said the increased reward for information could hopefully lead to members of the public reporting tips.

“When rewards get to this level — a level that can make significant changes in a person’s life — they might stop to consider something they heard or saw,” Shaw said in a statement. “This could be the down payment on a house, or an investment in a college education. It’s a new truck. Or a new start.”

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