3 min read

Another Wolf Was Just Mysteriously Killed In Oregon

No one knows who's behind it.

Another endangered gray wolf was just found dead in Oregon. This is the latest in a string of mysterious wolf killings in the region and state officials are trying to find out who's responsible. 

The wolf, known as OR-23, was found on November 14 in Wallowa County, Oregon, apparently dead of a gunshot wound.  

"We are upset and frustrated by the unlawful wolf killings in Oregon," Doug Cottam, wildlife division administrator for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), said. "Poaching of any wildlife is wrong and harmful to their conservation."

The body of OR-23 was found just a week after another wolf, a 4-year-old male known as OR-25, was found dead. Mere days earlier, an elk hunter shot dead a female wolf, reportedly believing her to be a coyote. And earlier this year OR-33 was found dead. Last fall, the body of a mother wolf, OR-28, was also discovered. Barring the elk hunter, who was excused because he claimed self-defense, no one knows who is responsible for all these deaths. 

The situation becomes complicated because state officials in Oregon sometimes allow the killing of wolves in certain parts of the state when wolves prey on grazing cattle.

A study has found that when the state orders these killings it can actually increase illegal killings of wolves. "State-sanctioned killing is more likely to increase poaching than reduce it," Maggie Howell, executive director of the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC), told The Dodo recently.

According to Center for Biological Diversity, at least nine wolves have been poached or died under mysterious circumstances in Oregon since 2015. These deaths can reverberate through the packs and cause major setbacks for wolves trying to find mates and start families. 

“The trend is indisputable," Brooks Fahy, executive director of Predator Defense, told The Dodo. "Individuals in Oregon are getting away with murder."

If you have information about the death of OR-23, you can call Sergeant Chris Hawkins at 541-963-7175 ex 4670, or call in anonymously to the Turn In Poachers hotline at 1-800-452-7888. To help protect wolves, you can also make a donation to Predator Defense