Oregon wolf death under investigation
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
July 23, 2007
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating the discovery of a dead gray wolf in Union County, Oregon. The animal had been shot, and was recovered on May 25, 2007, from a forested area north of Elgin.
The carcass was badly decomposed when first discovered, making initial identification of the animal difficult. Testing confirmed it was a mature female wolf, genetically related to the wolf population in Idaho, and that it died from a gunshot wound.
FWS law enforcement agents are requesting that anyone who may have information regarding the death of this or any other wolf contact them immediately at 503-682-6131.
This is the fourth confirmed wolf to have been found in eastern Oregon.
In March 1999, a radio-collared female was captured near John Day and returned to Idaho.
In 2000, a collared wolf was found dead along Interstate 84 south of Baker City, and a wolf without a radio collar was found shot between Ukiah and Pendleton.
All three animals were also confirmed to have been migrants from Idaho.
“It’s important for people to be thinking about the possibility of wolves in their area and to understand how to respond,” said Russ Morgan, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife wolf coordinator in Northeast Oregon. “It is illegal to shoot a wolf, even one mistaken for another animal. Hunters in particular need to identify their target before shooting because wolves can look similar to coyotes.”