The endangered species act protects many animals, including wolves. However, despite the law, someone in Oregon took the life of a wolf known as OR-33.
He was found dead by a gunshot wound. It is unclear if he was part of a pack or a lone wolf. The Imnaha pack once lived in this area. The Endangered Species Act was supposed to protect him.
There are exceptions to this law. Last year, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) killed 4 wolves that belonged to the Imnaha Pack. Because they were killing livestock, their lives were taken. However, the killing of these 4 wolves has caused much national controversy. Many have doubted the government’s role and commitment to protecting these endangered animals.
Maggie Howell, the executive director of the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) explains research done on killing wolves.
“This latest news coming from Oregon brings to mind the recent study that examines a widely held theory that government-sanctioned killing of wolves helps to prevent poaching by making wolves more socially acceptable to people like frustrated ranchers. The paper … shows that the opposite is true. State-sanctioned killing is more likely to increase poaching than reducing it.”
ODFW Has Allowed The Killing of 10 More Wolves
Howell reported that since August, the ODFW has allowed the killing of 10 wolves because of conflicts with ranchers. The ODFW also gave permission for ranchers to kill up to four wolves of the Harl Butte Pack if they came onto land that livestock was occupying. However, Howell wanted to make it clear that ranchers could kill, “any wolves of the pack-including pups.”
Brooks Fahy, the executive director of Predator Defense explained that “Many of us are concerned these killings will become more frequent. Very few people are going to turn in someone for a $5,000 reward. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is going through the motions just to make it look like they’re doing something. If they really wanted to get the perpetrator they’d put up a much larger reward.”
If you have any information about the death of this wolf, please contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at (503) 682-6131.