Two arrested during protest against wolf killings - KPTV - FOX 12

Two arrested during protest against wolf killings

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SALEM, OR (KPTV) -

For nearly an hour and a half Tuesday morning, protestors took over the front entrance of the Department of Fish and Wildlife in Salem.

"We've tried everything from phone calls to the governor, phone calls here, letter writing, protests.  Finally today, it ended with an act of civil disobedience," said Tim Hitchins, with the Portland Animal Defense League.

On Friday, the ODFW issued a press release stating they will be killing two wolves after a GPS collar confirmed they were involved in the killing of an owner's calf in Eastern Oregon. 

ODFW says this wolf pack, called the Imnaha pack, is responsible for killing at least 14 livestock animals since the middle of last year. The department plans to kill the alpha male and a second wolf, leaving behind a female wolf and her cub.

"We're continuing to move forward with the removal of these wolves," said Roger Fuhrman, with ODFW. "We're trying to find that balance between conserving wolves and bringing them back and balancing the interest of livestock land owners."

Wolves in the area were taken off the federal endangered species act in May. Wildlife advocates said Tuesday the ODFW should concentrate on conservation, not killing.

"Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is supposed to represent all Oregonians, and all Oregonians value native wildlife, they value wolves, and it seems like the state is doing the bidding of a small number of anti-wolf, anti-wildlife voices," said wildlife advocate Rob Klavins.

Two protesters fastened bike locks around their necks and locked themselves to the front doors of the ODFW building as people tried to enter. After an hour and a half, police stepped in and removed the door handles to arrest them.

"They full know well that they were likely going to get arrested today. And, I'm sure they feel proud of what they did," Hitchins said.

Justin Kay and Stephanie Taylor, both from southeast Portland, were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, trespassing and obstructing governmental or judicial administration.

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