Officials have confirmed that the Wenaha wolf found dead Thursday was illegally killed.
It is the first illegal wolf kill since 2007 and carries a fine of $100,000 and up to a year in federal prison. Federal animal control agents legally killed two wolves from Oregon’s Imnaha wolf pack in 2009.
Here’s what Tim Lillebo, Eastern Oregon Wildlands Advocate for the conservation group Oregon Wild had to say in response to the news of another illegal wolf kill:
“Killing this wolf is especially despicable considering there is almost no chance that the criminal could have mistaken it for anything other than a collared wolf. Its bulky black collar would have been very hard not to notice, and memorable photos of this silver-haired wolf had been featured in newspapers and on web sites across the state.
Worst of all, poaching incidents like this demonstrate the likely results of the reckless and inaccurate rhetoric of anti-wildlife organizations. In recent months we have seen these groups make public statements in northeast Oregon encouraging lawlessness and creating an atmosphere of hatred for wolves and other wildlife. It is truly a sad day for conservation when special interest groups create an atmosphere where some people feel it is okay to break the law and kill an endangered animal.”