Third Wolf Shot Illegally in Arizona

The US Fish and Wildlife Service confirmed that another endangered Mexican gray wolf has been found shot and killed in Arizona. 

There are only about 42 wild Mexican gray wolves left in the Southwest. Over the last 11 years, 31 of them have been killed by poachers.

“With so few Mexican gray wolves remaining in the wild, every single wolf is crucial to the survival of the species. These latest killings, along with the sobering statistic that illegal wolf killings are the leading cause of death for Mexican gray wolves, highlight the urgent need for greater law enforcement capacity at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,” says Eva Sargent, Defenders of Wildlife’s Southwest program director.

Defenders of Wildlife has added $10,000 to the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators. The total reward amount now sits at $57,500. 

The latest shooting took place near Big Lake, in Eastern Arizona. About two miles from there is where another wolf was found shot and killed on June 18. The two wolves were part of the same pack, which has seven new pups to raise. Without those adult wolves to supply the pack with food, the pups have a lesser chance for survival.

One possible explanation for the wolf deaths is the use of radio tracking devices to hunt them down. Some livestock producers have been given radio receivers, which register signals from radio collars on the wolves, pinpointing their location. It has been speculated that a rancher with a radio receiver, or more than one, has used the technology to locate wolves. 

The radio receivers were loaned to the ranchers by government officials. Environmental groups wrote a letter to Secretary Salazaar saying they believe the devices should be taken back: “Given the high rate of illegal shooting of Mexican wolves, as well as the large number of wolves disappearing under suspicious circumstances, wolf-frequency-programmed receivers should only be in the hands of government employees responsible for protecting and recovering the wolves, and in the hands of scientists studying them.”

A spokesperson for the cattle association said the notion that a rancher or ranchers are abusing the technology’s capacity is ridiculous. 

Killing the endangered wolves is illegal and subject to fines of up to $50,000 and one year in jail.

Anyone with information can call Operation Game Thief – a 24/7, toll-free, anti-poaching hotline for the public: 1-800-352-0700.     

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Image Credit: US Fish and Wildlife Service

219 comments

LMj Sunshine

Sad..

LMj Sunshine

Sad..

Meghan Stearns
Past Member 4 years ago

I agree that the radio tracking devices should only be in the use of individuals responsible for the protection and study of the endangered species Mexican gray wolf.

Fred K.
Past Member 5 years ago

they should give one wolf to everyone that commented on how sad it is to kill a wolf when everything was just fine without them in AZ

Jonathan Y.
Jonathan Y.5 years ago

There is a long history of collusion between ranchers and the BLM. During the Cold War, meat production was considered a matter of national security, hence great leeway was given to all livestock producers even those who broke the law.

Now that we're a more weight-conscious nation with a less carnivorous diet, it's time to rein in the BLM and the ranching industry from their worst outrages.

A lot of wildlife 'culling' takes place on public land, taxpayers' land which is supposed to be held in trust for our future and our children. Put pressure on your State and Federal representatives to rein in the BLM and regulate the ranching industry! www.congress.org

Karen C.
Karen C.5 years ago

I agree the radio receivers need to be in the hands of government employees only. I don't understand why the ranchers were given them in the first place. I hope there are no more grey wolf killings. I think the reward is large enough for someone to finally come forward.

Mervi R.
Mervi R.6 years ago

Why won´t they just leave the wolves alone?

Sylvan G.
Sylvan G.6 years ago

I, too, encourage the Universe to make the killer's Karma INSTANT! And, while we're at it, ANTICIPATORY for all other like-minded individuals.

Valerie C.
Val C.6 years ago

find and punish the killer. there arefew wolves left in the wild

ChanTlalok Rain C.
ChanTlalok C.6 years ago

It' been predicted by reputable scientists that the human being will be extinct within 100 years. We have some fellow jerks trying to make some of our relatives extinct now. I pray these killing jeks get their due now versus later, Karma.