The reward amount includes $5,000 that the Center for Biological Diversity has pledged toward information that leads to a conviction in connection with the poaching of any Mexican wolf in the United States.
According to a statement released yesterday by the Service, federal law enforcement officers recovered the wolf carcass from the Saffel Canyon Road on February 19th. The Service is seeking information about a vehicle “that was stopped or driving slowly near the Saffel Canyon Trailhead on the evening of February 18th.”
“Even with concerted conservation efforts, there are fewer than 200 Mexican gray wolves currently in the wild in the United States,” Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. “To senselessly kill one of these imperiled animals is despicable, and we hope anyone with information does the right thing and comes forward.”
Killing a Mexican wolf is a violation of Arizona state law and the federal Endangered Species Act and can result in federal criminal penalties of up to $50,000, up to a year in jail, or a civil penalty of up to $25,000.
“Each endangered wolf deserves a chance to survive in the wild,” said Amy Lueders, Regional Director for the Service in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “Our law enforcement officers are actively working with the Arizona Game and Fish Department to conduct a comprehensive investigation into this suspicious death. These investigations are extensive, and wolf poachers have faced, and will continue to face, serious criminal consequences.”
The Service is offering a reward of up to $10,000, the Arizona Game and Fish Department is offering a reward of up to $1,000, and the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the conviction of those responsible for the wolf’s death. The additional reward funds have been pledged by the Center, other conservation organizations, and private individuals.
The U.S. population of endangered Mexican gray wolves grew by 23 animals, from 163 in in 2019 to 186 in 2020, according to a March 10th legal filing by the Service.
Sadly, a minimum of 105 Mexican wolves have been determined to have been illegally killed from 1998 through 2019.
Anyone with information regarding this case should report it immediately by calling 1-844-FWS-TIPS (397-8477) or emailing [email protected]
You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg
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