State authorities confirmed Tuesday that a federally protected wolf has been killed in northeastern Oregon.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife wolf coordinator Russ Morgan said the killed wolf was a 2-year-old Wenaha pack male recently fitted with a radio tracking collar. The silver male was captured and fitted in August, Morgan said.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which has jurisdiction since wolves were restored to the endangered species list in August, is investigating, he said.
Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Joan Jewett said it had no comment.
The wolf was a subdominant male and the only member of the pack carrying a radio collar, allowing biologists to track the pack. The pack has four adults and at least two pups.
Wiped out in Oregon by bounty hunters more than 60 years ago, wolves first returned to the state in 1998 from Idaho, where they were introduced in a federal effort to get them off the endangered species list.
Two other wolves have been illegally shot since then. Two from the Imnaha pack were killed by government hunters for attacking livestock.