Wildlife officials have tracked a 2-year-old male gray wolf from its home in northeast Oregon, through Idaho and into Montana's Big Hole Valley. But that tracking can end now—the GPS collar-wearing wolf known as OR-18 was killed on the last day of May in Montana's Sapphire Mountains.
This morning's Missoulian reports that the wolf was probably in search of a new home and mate after being captured and fitted with a collar by Oregon Fish and Wildlife biologists in March 2013.
"It hadn't been in the Bitterroot even a week and a half," Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologist Liz Bradley told the Missoulian.
But on May 31, the wolf was illegally shot from a road in the Burnt Fork area of the Bitterroot Valley, east of Stevensville, Mont.
Meanwhile, the Wolves of the Rockies group has increased a reward from $1,000 to $3,500 for information leading to a conviction in the case of the illegal wolf killing. Tipsters can remain anonymous when they call 1-800-847-6668.