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A radio-collared female gray wolf known as OR-28 was found dead Oct. 6 in the Fremont-Winema National Forest near Summer Lake. Federal wildlife officials are offering a $5,000 reward for information about her killer. ODFW PHOTO

Federally protected gray wolf killed near Summer Lake

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of whoever killed a federally protected gray wolf in south-central Oregon, according to a news release. 

On Oct. 6, 2016, a radio-collared female gray wolf known as OR-28 was found dead in the Fremont-Winema National Forest near Summer Lake.

It is a violation of the Endangered Species Act to kill a gray wolf, which is listed as endangered in the western two-thirds of Oregon. The incident is being investigated by the Oregon State Police and the USFWS. The wolf’s carcass is currently at the service’s National Forensics Laboratory in Ashland for a necropsy.

OR-28 was fitted with a GPS radio-collar in June 2014, when she was a 1½-year-old member of the Mount Emily Pack. She stayed with the pack for more than a year before dispersing south in November 2015. OR-28, as well as her mate, 8-year-old OR-3, and at least one pup are part of a group called the Silver Lake Pack, with an active area stretching from Silver Lake to the Chemult area and Northern California.

According to a previous Herald and News report, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed Oct. 5 that a wolf attack took place in September against a calf near Summer Lake.

It was believed OR-28 was the perpetrator of the attack, which occurred on Timber Fall Butte, west of Summer Lake.

Injured in the attack was a calf grazing as part of a herd on U.S. Forest Service land. When the owner was gathering his cattle Sept. 28, he noticed severe injuries on the calf’s rear legs, and the animal was taken to a holding facility. Upon inspection, the injuries appeared to be two to three weeks old.

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