The reward for information leading to whoever shot a rare white wolf found inside Yellowstone National Park rose to $10,000 on Friday after a wolf advocacy group matched a $5,000 reward offered earlier by the park. Yellowstone officials euthanized the severely injured wolf after hikers found the animal suffering in the northern part of the park, near Gardiner, Mont., on April 11. The 12-year-old wolf that was killed was the alpha female of a group of wolves dubbed the Canyon Pack and a popular target of photographers, the AP reports. The park offered the initial reward after a preliminary necropsy found the wolf had been shot. The Montana group Wolves of the Rockies followed up with its own $5,000 reward.
Park officials haven't said whether they have leads in their investigation into who killed the wolf, but Wolves of the Rockies President Marc Cook suspects that the wolf's killer was someone angry about the reintroduction of wolves to the park more than two decades ago. "People take matters into their own hands and feel they are above the law," he says. Park officials also haven't commented on a motive for the wolf's killing, but many hunting outfitters and ranchers oppose the presence of the wolves, which now number about 100 in the park. Park officials say the dead wolf had at least 20 pups, of which 14 became yearlings. She was together with the same alpha male wolf for more than nine years.