Oregon State Police are investigating a collared wolf that was found dead in Wallowa County last week.
Investigators say the 2-year-old female wolf, which had been collared by wildlife officials and named OR-106, was likely shot to death.
They are asking the public to help find the person responsible.
The dead wolf was found and reported to authorities on Jan. 8 about six miles southeast of Wallowa.
Oregon’s wolf population has been growing since the species was reintroduced in 2009, but the state has also seen multiple instances of wolf poaching as debates continue over how to manage their attacks on livestock.
Wildlife advocates are calling for the state to have a special prosecutor for wildlife-related crime. Nearly 30 wolves have been illegally killed in the last two decades, according to state records, and arrests and convictions were made in just three of those cases.
“Oregon’s wolves are in extreme danger from illegal killings, and the killers often escape the consequences,” Amaroq Weiss with the Center for Biological Diversity said. “The state needs to do much more to investigate and punish these sickening crimes.”
Her conservation group and others are collectively offering a $16,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for killing the wolf known as OR-106. They are advising people with information about the case to call the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Turn In Poachers hotline at 1-800-452-7888 or send an email to TIP@state.or.us.