Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Chesnimnus wolves blamed for another calf attack in N.E. Oregon

By Eric Mortenson
Capital Press

John and Karen Hollingsworth/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service A gray wolf is seen in this file photo.
The Chesnimnus group of wolves, which killed a calf in Northeast Oregon in July, is blamed for injuring another calf.

An attack on a calf in Wallowa County this month has been blamed on the Chesnimnus wolves, a relatively new group identified by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The calf’s injuries included numerous, scabbed-over tooth scrape marks on both back legs and open bite wounds that measured 4- to 5-inches vertically, 3- to 4-inches wide and an inch deep. The wounds were seven to 14 days old, and the 300-pound calf was expected to recover.

The attack was discovered Aug. 14 on private land in the Zumwalt Prairie area. A calf was killed by the Chesnimus wolves 13 miles away on July 16.

Oregon has eight confirmed packs in Northeast Oregon: Imnaha, Minam, Snake River, Umatilla, Mt. Emily, Walla Walla, Wenaha and an unnamed pack in the Catherine Creek/Keating unit. In addition, ODFW has identified the Sled Springs pair and a group forming in the Mt. Emily area with OR-26, a collared-male who is paired with a female. OR-7, the wolf that left the Imnaha Pack a couple years ago and traveled diagonally across Oregon into California before returning, is paired with a female in Southwest Oregon and produced pups this year.

Oregon has a minimum of 64 wolves, according to ODFW’s annual wolf report. The number represents only wolves verified by direct evidence, however, and researchers believe the state’s population is higher.