Friday, June 24, 2005

Wolf shot on road near Banner Summit

Fish and Wildlife agents seeking information about shooter

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service law enforcement agents have confirmed that a gray wolf was illegally shot around noon on Tuesday, June 21, south of Banner Summit, on state Highway 21 northwest of Stanley.

The incident—which occurred between Grandjean Road and Banner Summit—was reported to the U.S. Forest Service at the Lowman Ranger Station by concerned citizens. The reporting party described the incident, indicating that as they rounded a bend in the highway, they observed a man with gray hair shoot a wolf that was standing on the road between the two vehicles.

The individuals did not obtain a license plate number, but they reported observing the shooter standing near a newer-model black (or dark-colored) pickup truck that was pulling a large camp trailer. U.S. Forest Service and Idaho Department of Fish and Game officers later located the carcass of a wolf in that area that appeared to have been shot.

The Fish and Wildlife Service's Office of Law Enforcement is asking for the public's assistance in identifying the driver of this vehicle.

Craig Tabor, USFWS resident agent in charge, said, "It's bad enough that this person shot a wolf, apparently with no legal justification, but, from the description given, it sounds like he shot down the road at the wolf with an occupied vehicle in or near his line of sight. He may be very lucky this is not a homicide investigation."

The killing of an animal protected under the Endangered Species Act is punishable by a fine of up to $100,000 and one year in jail. A reward of up to $2,500 may be paid for information leading to a conviction of the person or persons responsible for the illegal shooting of the wolf.

People with information about this case, or any other illegal gray wolf killings, are urged to contact USFWS Law Enforcement at (208) 378-5333. Callers can remain anonymous.

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