PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State Police say a trapper shot a gray wolf after finding it caught in one of his traps in December.
Capt. Bill Fugate says an examination of the dead wolf revealed a small-caliber bullet in its spinal column.
Several wolves have been inadvertently captured by licensed trappers since the animals began returning to Oregon around the turn of the century. In previous cases, the trapper contacted the state and wildlife biologists responded to help free the wolves.
Court records show the trapper — 58-year-old David Sanders of Elgin — was arraigned in Union County last week on two misdemeanor counts of unlawful taking of wildlife. A plea hearing is scheduled for March 27.
Sanders’ attorney, Charles Gillis, declined comment.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says the wolf was a juvenile female born last spring. Biologists believe it was the offspring of a new pair of wolves that bred this year in the Mt. Emily Wildlife Management Unit.