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July 30, 2010

Reward Offered in Another Endangered Mexican Wolf Killing

Third wolf found dead in region this summer

The Humane Society of the United States and The Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust are offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for illegally killing an endangered Mexican gray wolf on the Arizona-New Mexico border. This offer adds to existing rewards on this case, bringing the total to about $60,000.

The Case:

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, on July 15, a male Mexican gray wolf was found shot to death northeast of Big Lake in Arizona. The wolf was a member of the Hawks Nest Pack and is the third Mexican gray wolf found dead in that region within the last month. A cow was found shot to death in the vicinity of where the wolf was discovered.

"These flippant killings are tragically pushing endangered Mexican gray wolves closer and closer to extinction. We implore anyone with information to come forward," said Kari Nienstedt, Arizona state director for The HSUS. "The Humane Society of the United States applauds the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for working tirelessly to find those responsible for this serious crime."

On June 18, the alpha male wolf of the Hawks Nest Pack was found dead in the same area. The Humane Society of United States and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust also have an outstanding reward offer in that case. These two killings leave only an alpha female and yearling female to hunt for the pack's seven pups.

Mexican gray wolves are highly endangered, and killing one is illegal under the federal Endangered Species Act. Before these animals gained federal protection, they were nearly eradicated from the American Southwest. A recovery program launched by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reintroduced captive-bred Mexican gray wolves to their natural range in Arizona and New Mexico. Sadly, poaching has been the leading cause of death for this fragile population of wolves since 1998.

Poaching:

  • Wildlife officials estimate that for every wild animal killed legally — tens of millions of animals per year — another is killed illegally.
  • Every year, thousands of poachers are arrested nationwide; however, it is estimated that only 1 percent to 5 percent of poached animals are discovered by law enforcement.
  • Poachers injure or kill wildlife anytime, anywhere and sometimes do so in particularly cruel ways. Wildlife officials report that poachers often commit other crimes as well.
  • The HSUS works with state and federal wildlife agencies to offer rewards of $2,500 for information leading to arrest and conviction of suspected poachers.

The Investigators:

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 928-339-4232 or Arizona Game and Fish Operation Game Thief at 1-800-352-0700. Callers may remain anonymous.

The HSUS works to curb poaching across the country. Visit humanesociety.org/poaching for more information.

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.

Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching "HumaneTV" in the App Store. 

Since 1993 the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, alone or in partnership with other conservation groups, has participated in the protection of more than 1.8 million acres of wildlife habitat in 37 states, and eight foreign countries. On all properties owned by the Trust or protected by the Trust's conservation easement, both here and abroad, we prohibit recreational and commercial hunting and trapping and restrict logging and development. The Trust's commitment to these principles will never change as we continue to assist caring landowners to make their property permanent, safe homes for wildlife. Join our online community at wildlifelandtrust.org.

Follow the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust on Twitter. 

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