Wolf killed by cyanide trap meant for coyotes

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Officials say a gray wolf was unintentionally killed in rural northeast Oregon by a cyanide device used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife and the USDA acknowledged the Sunday killing in a news release.

The male, 100-pound wolf was a member of the Shamrock Pack and believed to be less than 2 years old.

The federal government’s Wildlife Services division was using a cyanide device known as an M-44 to kill coyotes and “prevent coyote-livestock conflict” on the private property in Wallowa County.

The often-questioned tool is a spring-activated device that is typically smeared with bait and shoots poison into the animal’s mouth when it tugs on the trap.

Federal officials are reviewing the death.

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