A person doing routine gray wolf research Saturday discovered the carcass of an adult cow surrounded by wolf tracks and scat.
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife experts reviewed the evidence and confirmed that the kill had been made by at least one wolf.
According to a news release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the cow was owned by a livestock producer operating under a state grazing permit. The release said the producer had signed a livestock damage prevention agreement and takes suggested preventive measures, including the use of a range rider to increase human presence near cattle.
The only livestock producer in the area adhering to those guidelines is Ellensburg cattle rancher Sam Kayser. Kayser also owned the yearling calf that was killed by one or more wolves in July on a grazing allotment on Department of Natural Resources-managed land.
The carcass found Saturday was on neighboring Forest Service-managed land, so the cow evidently left the grazing area allotment. Other cattle in the area appeared uninjured.
Kayser was one of the first livestock producers in the state to sign an agreement with the state.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state wildlife department will continue to monitor the area.
Neither Kayser nor state wolf experts were immediately available for comment.