Wolf pups poached in Idaho forest

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Profile image of a young, grey wolf pup, standing on a hillside.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Wildlife officials say wolf pups were just a few weeks old when poachers took them from their den in Idaho and killed them.

The Spokesman-Review reports that authorities have released few details about the poaching at the Idaho Panhandle National Forest, which is believed to have occurred during the week of May 16. The den was near a heavily used recreation area.

Defenders of Wildlife regional representative Suzanne Asha Stone says that while it’s illegal to hunt the pups on public land, there is a year-round hunting season on some private land with no age limits. Her organization has lobbied for changes to protect pups.

“They barely had their eyes open and they would have had no way of defending themselves,” she told the newspaper.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game says those regulations help landowners address wolf-livestock conflicts and wolves that get habituated to people.

More than $16,000 has been offered for inofrmation leading to arrests and convictions in the case.

The incident remains under investigation, so few details are being released.

“If you’re talking about fair chase, then wolf pups should not be hunted. Ever.” Stone told the Spokesman. “I think most people would agree that you don’t allow babies of any wildlife to be killed when they’re so indefensible.”

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