MEDFORD, Ore. – A man pleaded guilty to killing an endangered gray wolf in 2016.
The U.S. Department of Justice said on October 6, 2016, a GPS-collared gray wolf known as “OR 28” was found dead from a single gunshot wound near Summer Lake in the Fremont-Winema National Forest.
Investigators later determined 22-year-old Colton Tony Dick of Oakridge used a rifle to shoot and kill the wolf “without legal justification” as the animal was walking away from him in on October 5, 2016.
Gray wolves in western Oregon are listed as an endangered species, according to the federal government.
On August 19, 2019, Dick pleaded guilty to one count of unlawfully taking an endangered species. Under a sentencing agreement, he will be subject to one year of probation, pay $2,500 to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Dick agreed to abstain from hunting from one year and to perform 100 hours of community service.
Prosecutors said if Dick complies with the terms of his probation, he’ll be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea and the government will dismiss his charge.