$15K reward offered for info on shooting of endangered wolf

gray wolf

The gray wolf, known as OR-33, was collared prior to being killed earlier this year. (Photo: Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife)

Half a dozen conservation groups are offering more than $15,000 for information about the shooting death of an endangered gray wolf earlier this year in the Fremont-Winema National Forest, about 20 miles outside of Klamath Falls, Oregon.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had a standing $5,000 reward, but five other groups contributed more than $10,000 for a total reward of $15,500, the Center for Biological Diversity announced last week.

The wolf, known as OR-33, was found dead in April. His body was partially decomposed, and a necropsy revealed he died from injuries sustained from multiple gunshot wounds. Ten months prior, OR-33 was blamed for killing two goats and a lamb at a small livestock operation just north of Ashland.

Nonetheless, taking the life of an endangered wolf is considered a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and up to $100,000 in fines.

“It’s a big deal to take a healthy, potentially breeding adult out of the population, especially in Southern Oregon,” said KS Wild Program Director Tim Ream. “If we’re going to have a healthy population of wolves in Southern Oregon, every single wolf matters.”

[ NPR ]