The gray wolf is an endangered species, but that has not stopped the perpetrators of a string of recent killings in Oregon that have left authorities puzzled.
On November 14, a wolf known as OR-23 was found dead after what appeared to be a gunshot wound.
These recent killings have frustrated the authorities, according to Doug Cottam, who works for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Cottam also noted that this poaching harms efforts at conserving the wildlife.
In just the past year, four other wolves have been found dead. Only one has a reasonable explanation. The female wolf known as OR-28 died when a hunter, mistaking her for a coyote, shot in her self-defense. The identities of those who killed the other wolves are not known.
Officials in Oregon sometimes allow for the killing of wolves in some areas of the state in which they cause danger to cattle.