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Reward for wolf poacher raised to $20,000

UPDATED: Mon., Dec. 11, 2017

FILE - This March 13, 2014 file photo provided by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife shows a female wolf from the Minam pack outside La Grande, Ore., after it was fitted with a tracking collar. (Uncredited / AP)
FILE - This March 13, 2014 file photo provided by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife shows a female wolf from the Minam pack outside La Grande, Ore., after it was fitted with a tracking collar. (Uncredited / AP)

The reward for information leading to convictions in the killing of two wolves grew to $20,000 on Monday.

On Saturday, Conservation Northwest announced an award of $10,000 after two wolves were illegally killed in northeast Washington. On Monday morning the Center for Biological Diversity and Cascadia Wildlands added another $10,000, according to a news release from the Center for Biological Diversity.

“Poaching wolves or other wildlife is a deplorable crime,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center in the news release. “We need people to come forward and help put a stop to the killing of these endangered animals.”

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife issued a press release, Monday, asking the public for information.

One of the wolves was found on Dec. 5 roughly 15 miles south of Republic. That wolf had been radio collared by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said WDFW Police Capt. Dan Rahn. The collar stopped transmitting data location in early November, he said. Although the wolf had been a member of the Profanity Peak pack when it was collared, Rahn said that by the time of its death the wolf was not part of any pack.

“It appears at this point that it was unlawfully killed,” Rahn said.

The second wolf was discovered by hunters on Nov. 12 about 10 miles southeast of Colville, Wash. in Stevens County. That wolf was a breeding female, Rahn said.

“It was discovered within the range of the Dirty Shirt pack,” Rahn said. “We don’t know for sure that it was part of that pack but it was in that area.”

Because the investigation is ongoing Rahn declined to say how the the wolves were killed.

WDFW officials documented at least 115 wolves in the state at the end of 2016 and 20 wolf packs. All documented wolf packs are east of the Cascade Range. Washington officials have killed 18 problem wolves since 2012.

Under state law wolves are listed as an endangered species and are federally protected in the western two-thirds of the state.

The state penalty for killing a wolf is a $5,000 fine and/or a year in jail.

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