Michigan DNR Seeks Information in Wolf Poaching Case

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Michigan DNR Seeks Information in Wolf Poaching CaseDepartment of Natural Resources officials are seeking information related to the probable poaching of a female wolf. The incident occurred in Delta County, just north of Bark River.

“Our regular aerial surveys indicated the wolf was alive June 13, but her radio collar was in mortality mode when we next checked her on June 16,” said Brian Roell, the DNR’s wolf program coordinator.

DNR conservation officers and wildlife personnel went to the site the following day but were able to recover only the wolf’s collar. The collar had been cleanly cut with a knife. No further evidence of the animal was found.

“It appears the person who killed the wolf cut away the radio collar and left it in the woods, so we are still trying to locate the remains of the animal,” said Lt. John Cischke, DNR Law Enforcement, Newberry.

To encourage information that will help the DNR solve this case, the Defenders of Wildlife is offering a $1,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the death of the wolf. In addition, the DNR’s Report All Poaching program has offered an additional $500, to bring the reward total to $2,000.

“We hope someone with information will step forward to help us solve this case,” Roell said. “This particular female has been part of our research program since 2001. It’s really a shame to lose her because we have been watching her for a long time and have learned so much from her movements and behavior.”

DNR biologists believe the wolf was an alpha female from the pack labeled X-Skunk Creek. She originally was collared in Ontonagon County, but spent most of her last few years in the Delta County region. Michigan’s wolf population currently stands at 520, based upon last winter’s survey, compared to 509 in 2007.

Anyone with information pertaining to this case is asked to call the DNR’s Report All Poaching hotline at (800) 292-7800, or contact a local DNR conservation officer. Information can be provided anonymously.