Federal wildlife overseers report that three wolves were killed in southern Oregon late last December and that a $50,000 reward is being offered to help solve the crime.
USFWS says that on December 29, the collars of two Gearhart Mountain Pack wolves sent out a mortality signal and that when state fish and wildlife troopers and a biologist responded to the scene east of Bly, they found that pair and a third dead wolf.
The animals are described as the pack’s breeding female, OR115, the subadult known as OR142 and another unnumbered subadult.
No information was immediately available about cause of death, but the death of three wolves in at least close proximity in time suggests shooting or poison.
The Gearhart Mountain wolves were documented in ODFW’s 2022 year-end wolf report as a successful breeding pair with five members that committed four livestock depredations that year – late in the day, the agency reported there are seven remaining in the pack. They roam Lake and Klamath Counties, in the still federally listed portion of Oregon. Wolves also remain protected under Oregon state law.
The investigation is being led by USFWS and tipsters can contact either the federal agency at (503) 682-6131 or OSP at (800) 452-7888, *OSP (*677) on smartphones or via email TIP@osp.oregon.gov.
In other regional wolf news, the latest WDFW monthly wolf update reports on the killing of yet another Washington wolf by a cougar, a dispersing Smackout Pack pup taken down January 10 or 11th in the Dominion Pack territory to the south.
“Sign at the scene and the disposition of the carcass indicated that this wolf was likely killed by a cougar,” WDFW reported.
It’s believed to be the eighth known cougar-killed wolf in Washington in the past 10 years, with more possible.