When wolf biologist Trent Roussin first saw the gray wolf on May 26 in the Sheep Creek area of Washington’s Stevens County, it wasn’t immediately apparent that she had been shot. The wolf was lying on the ground miles behind a locked gate; it was quiet, Roussin says, and not particularly messy or bloody. When he and his colleagues realized she had been poached, he wasn’t surprised. But he was disappointed.
“It’s really a bummer, is the first thing you think,” says Roussin, who works at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. State-endangered gray wolves, once extirpated from the area, started recovering in Washington in 2008.