RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) — The Center for Biological Diversity announced on Monday that it has increased the reward for the illegal killing of an endangered red wolf in Washington County.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a $5,000 reward last week, and the Center is offering an additional $10,000, making the total $15,000 for information leading to a successful prosecution

“We grieve the senseless killing of one of the most endangered mammals on the planet, and we want the perpetrator brought to justice,” said Will Harlan, Southeast director at the Center in a press release. “This is a cowardly act against one of the only red wolves in the wild. We hope someone steps forward with information.”

A report indicates the red wolf was shot dead along a fence line south of Newland Road in Washington County on May 18. A necropsy revealed that the red wolf was shot in the torso, causing it to fall where it was found. Gunshots are the leading cause of death for red wolves.

Only 34 red wolves remain in the wild. Five counties in Eastern North Carolina surrounding the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge are home to the world’s only wild red wolf population.

Red wolves are protected by the Endangered Species Act. Violations carry maximum penalties of $50,000 and a year in prison. Civil penalties can range up to $25,000 per violation.

Anyone with information about the red wolf killing should contact North Carolina Division of Refuge Enforcement Capt. Frank Simms at (252) 216-7504 or Special Agent Matthew Brink at (919) 856-4786 ext. 37.