Story at a glance

  • At least 8 wolves have been poisoned in Oregon since February.
  • Oregon is home to more than 170 wolves across the state and killing the animals with poison is a class C felony punishable by 5 years in prison and a $125,000 fine.

Authorities in Oregon are asking for the public’s help in finding who’s responsible for fatally poisoning eight wolves in eastern Oregon earlier this year. 

In February,  officials with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife notified state troopers that a wolf fitted with a tracking collar appeared to be deceased. Investigators who arrived on the scene in Union County found three males and two females dead, the entirety of the Catherine Pack. 

Over the next few months, several more wolves from different packs were found dead in the same general location and toxicology reports the wolves had been poisoned. 


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“To my knowledge this is the first wolf pack to be killed by poison in Oregon,” Oregon State Police Capt. Stephanie Bigman told local KGW8. “To my knowledge there are no suspects. All investigative leads have been exhausted and that is why we are reaching out to the public for assistance.” 

Oregon is home to more than 170 wolves across the state and killing the animals with poison is a class C felony punishable by 5 years in prison and a $125,000 fine, according to the Statesman Journal

The Trump administration last year lifted federal endangered species protections for gray wolves across most of the U.S. The gray wolf has been protected under the Endangered Species Act since the 1970s when the wolf population was around 1,000. The wolves were nearly wiped out across the continental U.S. during the 1900s primarily due to loss of habitat and hunting.


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Published on Dec 02, 2021