POISONING CONFIRMED AS CAUSE OF WOLF DEATHS
U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service law enforcement agents have confirmed poisoning as the
cause of death of at least two gray wolves in Idaho, B-37 and
B-96. The Service’s National Forensics Laboratory in Ashland,
Oregon, performed necropsies on the wolves and determined that
the animals were killed by Compound 1080
(sodium fluoroacetate), a highly toxic poison.
Service law enforcement agents recovered the body of B-37 in
the Salmon-Challis National Forest near Pepper Creek in August
of 2000. B-96, a male member of the Smoky Mountain pack, was
found dead near Lick Creek about 20 miles north of Fairfield,
Idaho, in November, 2000. Although B-96 had also been shot in
the lower right hip, he died as a result of Compound 1080 poisoning.
Lab reports indicate that two other gray wolves, B-92 and B-89
of the Moyer Basin pack, may possibly have met a similar fate
but the carcasses were too badly decomposed to confirm the suspicion.
The Moyer Basin wolves were found dead at the same time and
within five miles of B-37.
Compound 1080 is a highly toxic substance that is illegal to
possess. It will kill any animals, including birds, that ingest
baited meat or the carcasses of dead animals that have already
been poisoned. Canines are most susceptible to poisoning due
to ingestion of baited meat, but the toxins can also enter animal
bloodstreams through contact with abraded skin or wounds, or
through the respiratory system if poisoned dust particles are
inhaled. Poisoning symptoms include convulsions, seizures, vomiting,
abdominal pain, diarrhea, blistering of tissues, throat irritation,
Special Agent Paul
Weyland cautioned livestock owners, recreationists, hunters
and other persons inoutdoor areas, If you see a pile of meat,
a carcass, or dead birds near a carcass, please contact our
offices immediately. We are very concerned for the safety of
dogs and children, as well as wildlife that may be harmed
by this illegal practice.
The killing of an endangered species is punishable by law, with
a penalty of up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $100,000.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Defenders of Wildlife and
the Wolf Education and Research Center are offering a reward
of $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction
person or persons responsible for killing these animals.
The U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible
for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and
plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the
American people. The Service manages the 94-million-acre
National Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses more than
530 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and
other special management areas. It also operates 70 national
fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and
78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal
wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages
migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant
fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands,
and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts.
It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds
of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting
equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
Formore information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
visit our home page at http://fws.gov
This news release and related information is also available