Wolf found shot, killed on southern Oregon state forestland

OR25, a yearling male in the Imnaha Pack, after being radio-collared on May 20, 2014. (ODFW)

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. - Someone shot and killed a federally protected gray wolf in southern Oregon.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or people who killed OR-25.

The wolf was found dead October 29 near Fort Klamath on the Sun Pass State Forest southeast of Crater Lake.

"It is a violation of the Endangered Species Act to kill a gray wolf, which is listed as endangered in the western two-thirds of Oregon," Fish and Wildlife said in a press release. "It is also a violation of Oregon state game laws."

Oregon State Police are investigating the killing, along with federal officials.

Biologists put a collar on OR-25 in May 2014. They tracked the wolf after he left the Imnaha Pack in northeastern Oregon the following March.

The wolf's age is estimated at 4 1/2 years, state officials said. He was not a part of any known pack at the time of his death.

Investigators are still working to find the person or people responsible for the death of OR-33, a wolf found dead in April on the Fremont-Winema National Forest 20 miles northwest of Klamath Falls. It is unknown when OR-33 was shot.

And late last month, a hunter reported shooting a wolf in self defense in northeastern Oregon. The hunter voluntarily reported what happened to state officials. Police investigated, and the local prosecutor determined the hunter acted within the law.