A heinous act of animal cruelty, which claimed the lives of several elk in a herd in Central Washington, has prompted officials to reach out to the public for tips, and conservation groups to offer up rewards. The devastating cruelty took place on November 6, outside of Ellensburg.
According to Northwest Sportsman Magazine, whoever poached the elk not only killed calves and cows, but they walked away without removing the bodies. The killings took place in the morning hours in Schnebly Canyon, on the last day of rifle elk season, and there are fears that more elk could be injured.
On Monday, the Facebook page for Conservation Northwest, posted a comment about the disturbing crime:
This is infuriating. Through our Reward Fund to Help Stop Poaching we’re adding $3,000 to the available reward for information used to convict those responsible. If you know something, call the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Police Poaching Hotline at (877) 933-9847
Comments on the day that the elk were shot indicate that multiple people might be involved – Officer Roman Varyvoda stated that there was mention of 23 elk in a herd, and after the shootings, someone advised “everyone on the frequency not to say a word.”
Anyone with information on the case is being asked to call WDFW’s Poaching Hotline at (877) 933-9847, or file a report through the agency’s website, or text tips to WDFWTIP Report and send them to 847411.
The poachers responsible for killing the elk could face a class C felony charge for illegal hunting.