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As One Washington Wolf Poaching Case Comes To A Close, Others Remain A Mystery

File photo. The lethal removal of the Profanity Peak pack has not stopped the remaining wolves from killing cattle.
Eric Kilby
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Flickr - tinyurl.com/gngh5n7
File photo. The lethal removal of the Profanity Peak pack has not stopped the remaining wolves from killing cattle.

Last month, a Washington state resident was fined more than $8,000 for poaching three wolves in 2016. DNA evidence linked him to three separate kills, but other poaching cases remain unsolved. 

Last month, Terry Leroy Fowler of Liberty Lake pleaded guilty to two counts of unlawfully killing wolves in Pend Oreille County in 2016. A third count was dismissed in a plea agreement.

“It’s no secret that wolves are an endangered species and classified as such in the state of Washington,” Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Police Captain Dan Rahn said. “So, I don’t think there was any question there whether the person knew that it was unlawful or not, when you’re taking wolves and trapping and killing them.”

Rahn said evidence at the scene led investigators to Fowler, but that doesn’t happen in every poaching case.

Back in December, two wolves were found dead elsewhere in northeastern Washington. The unlawful kills prompted environmental groups to offer a $20,000 reward, but officials say so far, that hasn’t incentivized anyone to come forward.

Copyright 2018 Northwest News Network

Emily Schwing
Emily Schwing comes to the Inland Northwest by way of Alaska, where she covered social and environmental issues with an Arctic spin as well as natural resource development, wildlife management and Alaska Native issues for nearly a decade. Her work has been heard on National Public Radio’s programs like “Morning Edition” and “All things Considered.” She has also filed for Public Radio International’s “The World,” American Public Media’s “Marketplace,” and various programs produced by the BBC and the CBC. She has also filed stories for Scientific American, Al Jazeera America and Arctic Deeply.
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