Ore. State Police investigate wolf pup death

MILTON-FREEWATER, Ore. (AP) - Oregon State Police are investigating the shooting of a male wolf pup that was killed near Milton-Freewater in northeast Oregon.

Police said Friday that a genetic analysis of the carcass found in early December showed the wolf had been born into the Umatilla River pack. The pup was found dead near Lincton Mountain in Umatilla County.

Lt. Don Wagner of the state police east region Fish and Wildlife Division tells the East Oregonian that no arrests have been made. A poacher could face a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $6,250 fine.

A draft of Oregon's 2013 wolf report shows the number of confirmed wolves statewide has grown from 48 in 2012 to 64 last year. The number of packs grew from six to eight.

The number of packs successfully producing pups dropped from six in 2012 to four in 2013, but it marked the second year in a row that the state recovery goal of four breeding pairs was met. One more year like that and the department can consider removing wolves from the Oregon endangered species list.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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