An Oregon wolf that had the misfortune of crossing into Idaho has been killed.
The conservation group Oregon Wild announced Thursday that the wolf known to biologists as OR-16 was shot Saturday near Lowman, Idaho, becoming the second Oregon wolf to be killed in Idaho as part of that state's recreational hunt since the endangered designation was taken away from wolves last year.
After the endangered species protection was removed, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming established recreational killing seasons. As of Wednesday, 958 wolves have been killed in those three states as part of recreational hunts, according to Oregon Wild.
"When wolves were stripped of their protections as part of a political deal in 2011, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming celebrated by opening recreational killing seasons that have now claimed nearly 1,000 wolves -- more than half of the known population in the western United States,” Rob Klavins, wildlands and wildlife advocate for Oregon Wild, said in a news release.
Unlike Idaho, Oregon does not allow the sport hunting of wolves but plans for agency staff to kill wolves in response to livestock depredation are under a court-ordered hold, state officials say.
Oregon Wild and other wildlife advocates say this has contributed to an increase in the state's wolf population –- with at least 53 wolves and as many as five breeding pairs identified in the state.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story misidentified Oregon's wolf policy as a "wolf-hunting program." OPB regrets the error.