SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A coalition of conservation groups is offering a $15,000 reward for information on the poaching of the breeding female of the Wedge wolf pack in northeastern Washington state.
The wolf was found dead of a gunshot wound May 26 in the Sheep Creek area of Stevens County.
Conservation groups say the slain wolf had given birth to pups earlier this year. Because her death occurred when the pups would not yet have been fully weaned, her litter has likely starved to death. Her death also marks the demise of the Wedge pack, which consisted of just two wolves.
While gray wolves were recently stripped of their federal Endangered Species Act protections, they remain protected under state law in Washington. Amaroq Weiss of the Center for Biological Diversity says poachers have killed far too many of Washington’s wolves without consequence.
There were 132 wolves living in Washington at the end of 2020. There are 24 packs and 13 confirmed breeding pairs on lands managed by the state.