Two separate $5,000 rewards have been offered for information following the illegal shooting of a rare white wolf in Yellowstone National Park.
The ‘Queen of Hayden Valley’ white wolf was one of the most well-known wolves in the National Park and her illegal killing has sparked outrage from advocacy groups and Yellowstone visitors alike.
Hikers found the wolf, one of only three white wolves in the National Park, mortally wounded on April 11. Park staff were forced to euthanize the animal because her injuries were so severe.
Recently released necropsy results showed the wolf suffered a gunshot wound, the National Park Service has revealed.
The wolf was the alpha female of the ‘Canyon Pack,’ the most photographed pack in Yellowstone. She was 12 years old, about twice the age of other wolves in the park. She had been with the same mate for more than nine years and had produced at least 20 pups.
The Park service said she was one of the most recognizable wolves in the park and was highly sought after by visitors to view and photograph. Many people shared memories of encounters with the wolf in a Facebook post announcing that she had been shot.
“Due to the serious nature of this incident, a reward of up to $5,000 is offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible for this criminal act,”said Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk.
A wolf advocacy organization called Wolves of the Rockies added another $5,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the successful conviction of the shooter.