The adult male wolf’s corpse was found abandoned in the village square in Semproniano, Grosseto province, on Sunday morning with a shotgun wound to its right shoulder.
Police were called in and took the lifeless wolf to a local animal sanctuary before it was transported to Grosseto for DNA analysis, La Nazione reported on Tuesday.
In a rural area which depends on sheep farming, animal rights organization Lav has accused villagers of trying to cover up the crime.
“We are convinced that a conspiracy of silence is sheltering those responsible for these horrible actions,” Giacomo Bottinelli, from Lav Grosseto, was quoted as saying.
“Moreover this last case arrives in the height of the tourist season, amplifying the negative repercussions,” he said.
Animal rights activists have offered the reward to anyone who can name those responsible, while also calling on the public prosecutor to open an investigation.
Eleven wolves have been killed in the area since the spring of 2013. The most gruesome case was in Scansano when a decapitated wolf’s head was hung up at the entrance to the town, La Nazione said.
Hunting wolves is illegal under Italian and EU law, but some people have taken to killing the predators in order to protect livestock.