Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, August 11, 2016

Contact: Amaroq Weiss, (707) 779-9613,

Helicopter Gunners Kill Two Wolves in Northeastern Washington

PORTLAND, Ore.— The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced late today that aerial gunners have killed two adult members of the Profanity Peak wolf pack in northeast Washington, including the pack’s breeding female.

“Washington state just made things worse, not better by killing these two wolves,” said Amaroq Weiss, West Coast wolf organizer with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Not only is it a tragedy to have these two beautiful wolves wiped out — by gunners in helicopters of all things — but there's very strong science showing that killing a breeding animal can sometimes cause a wolf pack to split into several packs or dissolve altogether, disrupting their social order and even spurring additional conflicts with wildlife.”

The kill order was issued following investigations concluding the wolves recently killed three calves and a cow and that three other calf deaths are probable wolf kills. All of the losses occurred on public lands grazing allotments, in territory occupied by the Profanity Peak pack. The decision was made under the guidelines of a new lethal removal protocol that was agreed to this spring by the state Wolf Advisory Group, a stakeholder group convened by the Department of Fish and Wildlife that includes agency staff and representatives from the ranching, hunting and conservation community.

Despite the provisions of the Wolf Lethal Removal Protocol that was recently agreed to by the wolf advisory group, indicating that incremental lethal removal is the preferred avenue, the agency now has sharpshooters on the ground trying to kill more pack members.

“This wolf-killing operation is unfolding in a really disturbing way,” Weiss said. “If wolves are going to ever have a hope of recovering in Washington state, we need to rethink how these kinds of operations are being carried out.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.1 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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