While Oregon State Police publicly appeal for information about two dead wolves at Sled Springs, a Senior Trooper investigating the case says it’s not clear their deaths were deliberately caused.

According to an OSP statement, both wolves were found dead in the Sled Springs area north of Enterprise the week of Aug. 24. One was collared female OR-21, the other a male previously observed in her company by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, which designated the two the Sled Springs Pair and in January created the Sled Springs Pair Area of Known Wolf Activity.

Last month, wildlife officials responded to the scene after the female’s collar emitted a mortality signal.

Senior Trooper Kreg Coggins, who is investigating the wolf deaths, said ODFW personnel who found OR-21’s carcass didn’t spot the male’s, which Coggins himself found a day later, approximately 50 yards from where the female was found.

He declined to describe the wolves’ state of decay or speculate as to how long they had lain dead. “They didn’t die the day that they were found,” he said.

Necropsies to determine cause of death were apparently inconclusive. “We haven’t concluded that these things were shot ... At this point I’m not convinced that there was foul play involved,” Coggins said.

Anyone who has information about the incident should contact Coggins at 541-426-3049, or call the TIP Hotline at 1-800-452-788 or e-mail TIP@state.or.us.

Citing ODFW spokeswoman Michelle Dennehy, the Capital Press reported Wednesday that the Sled Springs Pair had pups that would be about five months old and weaned at this point. The pups hadn’t been seen as of Wednesday morning, but wolves are secretive and the pups should be free-ranging by now, she said. It’s unclear how many pups the pair had.

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