Poaching is a huge and growing problem in Oregon. We need everyone’s help to catch this killer. The US Fish & Wildlife Service and conservation groups alike are working together to bring justice for OR-33, and send a message that this vile act won’t be tolerated in our state.
For Immediate Release
Conservation Groups Join Reward to Catch Oregon Wolf Killer
Conservation organizations are bolstering a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS) reward for information on the illegal killing of OR-33, a federally protected gray wolf in southwestern Oregon. The FWS has offered a $5,000 reward, and five conservation organizations have contributed an additional $10,500, bringing the total to $15,500.
Since 2015, at least eight wolves have been poached or died under mysterious circumstances in Oregon. Those include OR-33, OR-28, OR-22, OR-34, OR-31, an uncollared sub-adult wolf from the Walla Walla pack, and two wolves known as the Sled Springs pair. Poaching is an acute problem in Oregon that demands serious attention from lawmakers and wildlife management officials – to strengthen and enforce wildlife laws, and to deter and fully prosecute criminals.
Quinn Read, Northwest representative for Defenders of Wildlife, issued this statement:
"Poaching is a huge and growing problem in Oregon. We need everyone’s help to catch this killer. The US Fish & Wildlife Service and conservation groups alike are working together to bring justice for OR-33, and send a message that this vile act won’t be tolerated in our state."
Joseph Vaile, executive director for the Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, issued this statement:
"We can only hope that this reward helps stop the next protected wolf from being killed."
Amaroq Weiss, West Coast wolf advocate for the Center for Biological Diversity, issued this statement:
“This is a heartbreaking loss for Oregon’s wolves. Wolf recovery in Oregon depends on wolves like OR-33 making their way west and thriving, so his death is a major setback. We hope someone will do the right thing and come forward with information.”
Danielle Moser, wildlife coordinator for Oregon Wild, issued this statement:
"We are helping contribute to the reward fund in the hopes of finding the perpetrator and bringing them to justice. Going forward, we encourage the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to take wolf poaching more seriously."
Scott Beckstead, senior Oregon state director for the Humane Society of the United States, issued this statement:
“The senseless killing of one of Oregon’s iconic wolves is an appalling and serious crime. We are grateful to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for their diligent efforts to find those responsible and bring the offender or offenders to justice.”
Anyone with information about this case should call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at (503) 682-6131, or Oregon State Police Tip Line at (800) 452-7888.
OR-33 was found dead of gunshot wounds near Klamath Falls on April 23. Details about this illegal killing were released on October 11 after the FWS completed a necropsy.
OR-33 was a 4-year-old male gray wolf. He dispersed from the Imnaha Pack in northeast Oregon in November 2015. Although he had a collar, it stopped functioning in August 2016.
Killing a gray wolf in the western two-thirds of Oregon is a violation of the Endangered Species Act. It is also a violation of Oregon state game laws and is subject to both criminal and civil penalties. The investigation of this crime is being conducted by the Oregon State Police and the FWS.
Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With nearly 1.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit Newsroom.Defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.