On Sunday, October 12, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Officers received reports from Whitman County that a wolf had been shot southwest of Pullman. When our officers reached the scene, they determined that the wolf had been shot by a farmer who had pursued the animal for several miles in his vehicle after seeing it near his farm.
The incident occurred west of U.S. Highway 195. This area is in the Eastern Washington recovery zone, where wolves are delisted under federal law but remain listed as endangered under state rule.
WDFW Officers contacted the farmer, and a witness who believed a possible poaching incident had occurred. The shooting does not appear to have been associated with a defense-of-life action, nor did it take place under the statutory authority to shoot and kill a wolf that is caught in the act of attacking livestock in the Eastern Washington recovery zone.
We are actively investigating this incident and are in contact with Whitman County law enforcement officials and the county commissioners. Once the investigation is complete, the case will be sent to the Whitman County Prosecutor’s office for a charging decision.