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Reward for Cove Oregon Wolf Poaching suspect tops $20k

Department of Fish and Wildlife

COVE, Ore. — Non-profit groups will pay up to $22,500 for information that leads to an arrest or citation regarding a wolf poached Feb. 15 near the town of Cove, in Union County.

OSP F&W Troopers responded to a call from ODFW of a mortality signal from a wolf collar at the end of Haggerty Lane off High Valley RD. Troopers located the carcass of OR109, a black female wolf, which they believe died the morning of Feb 15. While there were no obvious signs of injury, wildlife veterinarians discovered a bullet, which they said was the cause of death.

Wildlife biologists collared and released OR109 in March of 2021 and charted her age as either nearly one or nearly two years old. Although OR109 was found in the Catherine unit, it would take a DNA test to tell if she was related to the Catherine wolf pack that was poisoned early last year. Wolves are known to travel great distances so this female may have been a returning pack member or may have travelled from a neighboring state. 

According to ODFW Wolf Program Coordinator, Roblyn Brown, all known members of the Catherine pack died in the poisoning event in February 2021. 

“She was trapped in an area Catherine Pack rarely visited, then moved into their empty pack territory after they were gone,” Brown said, “It is possible she had dispersed earlier from the Catherine Pack or any other pack in Oregon or Idaho.”

The latest wolf in a long string of poaching, OR109 is a reminder that feelings of frustration and indignation build big rewards fast. In the case of the Catherine pack, donations from across the country piled up for a month, to more than $50,000 in cash rewards for information leading to charges. This time, the cash was an instant windfall.

Organizations raised more than $20,000 in less than 24 hours, and pledges continue to roll in. The death or OR109 sparked the ire of non-profits like the Center for Biological Diversity, Cascadia Wildlands, Defenders of Wildlife, Greater Hells Canyon Council, the Humane Society of the United States, Oregon Wild and Predator Defense, all of which contributed to the reward fund.

“The number of wolves poached in Oregon is growing sickeningly high,” said Sristi Kamal, senior northwest representative for Defenders of Wildlife.

Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact OSP through the Turn in Poachers (TIP) line at 1-800-452-7888, *OSP (*677), or email at TIP@osp.oregon.gov Reference case # SP22039030.

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