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For Immediate Release, April 30, 2013

Contact: Amaroq Weiss, (707) 779-9613

Sister of OR-7 Died in Foothold Trap: Third Radio-collared Oregon Wolf Killed in Idaho

PORTLAND, Ore.— The sister of Oregon’s most famous wolf, OR-7, was killed in Idaho in March, conservationists have learned. OR-5, a 3-year-old female from the Imnaha pack and sister to the wanderer OR-7 who crossed into California in 2011, died in a foothold trap in Idaho on March 30, the next-to-last day of the Idaho trapping season.

Wolf OR-5
Photo of OR-5 being radio-collared in February, 2010 courtesy Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. This photo is available for media use.

“Crossing the border into Idaho was a death sentence for this wolf,” said Amaroq Weiss, West Coast wolf organizer at the Center for Biological Diversity. “What a heartbreaking paradox — one wolf from this pack, OR-7, is world-renowned and beloved, while his sister OR-5 died a lonely, terribly painful death in a steel-jawed leghold trap.”

In 2011, in an unprecedented move, Congress, rather than federal government scientists, removed Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in the northern Rockies states. Since that time, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming have all instituted aggressive wolf-hunting and trapping seasons that have caused a 7 percent reduction in the region’s wolf population. The war on wolves in these states has also resulted in the killing of three radio-collared Oregon wolves. 

In addition to the loss of OR-5 this year, OR-9 was killed last year by an Idaho man who shot the wolf under an expired Idaho hunting license (yet was given no fine in the incident). And OR-16, of the Wenaha pack, was shot in Idaho earlier this year while trotting along a ridgetop, following troubling calls on social media sites like Facebook to get the radio-collared wolf from Oregon. A number of radio-collared, well-studied and much-beloved wolves have now fallen.

“State management of northern Rockies wolves has been a disaster that has unleashed violent prejudice against wolves by a small number of irresponsible hunters,” said Weiss. “The anti-wildlife policies of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming are not just endangering wolves in those states, but also wolves in Oregon and other states, where wolves remain endangered.”

Despite the poor record of state wolf management, a draft rule from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service leaked to the Los Angeles Times last week would remove protections for wolves across much of the remainder of the lower 48 states, including the Pacific Northwest, California, southern Rocky Mountains and Northeast, where wolves are only just beginning to recover.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 500,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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