STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. — Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) agencies are offering monetary rewards of more than $51,000 to anybody that provides information about the illegal killing of six Gray wolves that were poisoned in Stevens County.
According to a statement by the WDFW, over the past seven months, law enforcement have been investigating the death of six wolves in the Wedge pack territory in Stevens County. After law enforcement got a toxicology test, results revealed all six wolves died from ingesting poison.
A Wedge pack includes a minimum of two wolves and is not considered a successful breeding pair. According to WDFW, a wedge pack includes one adult male wolf and one adult female wolf that raised at least two pups that survived until December 31.
The investigation first began in February of this year when WDFW investigators found four dead wolves in late February, and within a month they found two more.
Gray wolves are listed as endangered under Washington's state law. In the western two-thirds of the state, they are also listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act. Under state law, the illegal killing of a wolf or other endangered fish or wildlife species is a gross misdemeanor that is punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Last month, biologists working for the state of Washington killed two members of the Leadpoint wolf in an effort to stop the pack from preying on cattle in Stevens County. Agency Director Kelly Susewind authorized the killing of up to two members of the pack. The Leadpoint wolf pack has a minimum count of nine wolves and was considered a successful breeding pair in 2020.
The investigation in the poisonings of the six Wedge pack wolves is ongoing. WDFW is asking anyone who might have relevant information to the poisonings of these wolves to report it confidentially by calling WDFW's poaching hotline at (877) 933-9847, or by texting a tip to 847411.
The following organizations are offering rewards totaling $51,400 for information that leads to a conviction in the poisoning case of Stevens County wolves:
- Center for Biological Diversity
- Conservation Northwest
- Defenders of Wildlife
- Kettle Range Conservation Group
- Northwest Animal Rights Network
- Sierra Club – Washington Chapter
- Washington Wildlife First
- Western Watersheds Project
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