“It is extremely upsetting when our state’s endangered wolves are found dead. In my experience when there are this many dead wolves, with no outward signs of bullet holes or blood, it often indicates poisoning. ”
Defenders of Wildlife is offering $2,500 for information after four wolves were discovered dead in Stevens County, Washington earlier this year. The information must lead to a poaching conviction.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) confirmed the deaths, described in a February report from the Stevens County Sheriff’s Office.
“It is extremely upsetting when our state’s endangered wolves are found dead,” said Zoe Hanley, Northwest representative for Defenders of Wildlife. “In my experience when there are this many dead wolves, with no outward signs of bullet holes or blood, it often indicates poisoning. ”
The Washington wolf population was last counted at 206 wolves in 33 packs across the state and is still recovering. They are listed under the state’s endangered species act, but these wolves were found in a portion of Washington that does not currently have federal protections.
“Multiple wolf deaths in such a small area hinder the species’ recovery in our state. Poaching of any of Washington’s wildlife cannot and should not be tolerated,” said Hanley. “We hope that Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife law enforcement strongly prioritize this investigation and hope our reward helps.”
The state says it is not releasing any additional information given the incident is under active investigation by law enforcement but is asking anyone with information about the death or harassment of these wolves to call the WDFW Enforcement Hotline at 1-877-933-9847.