Tuesday, March 29, 2016

3 attacks by Oregon wolf pack could spur lethal action

Zach Urness, Statesman Journal , 
March 29, 2016
Three attacks on livestock by a wolf pack in northeast Oregon this month could lead to lethal action against the Imnaha Pack.

State officials determined the pack was responsible for killing two calves on Sunday, bringing the total number of livestock killed in March to four animals in the Upper Swamp Creek area of Wallowa County.

The livestock operator affected by the attacks, who has not been named, has requested that the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife take lethal action against the pack.

Lethal action can be considered following two confirmed depredations.

The department last took lethal action against wolves in 2011,  when two wolves, also from the Imnaha Pack, were euthanized by Fish and Wildlife officials. In 2009, state officials killed two wolves known as the Keating Pair. Both were euthanized following livestock depredation.

However, ODFW does not always take lethal action. Last year, the Mount Emily pack was blamed for five depredations and no lethal action was taken.

On Sunday morning, a livestock producer reported finding two dead calves in the same area where two previous attacks by the Imnaha Pack had taken place.

GPS radio‐collar data indicated that wolves OR4 and OR39 were in the immediate area that night, according to ODFW reports on the incident.

"The locations, as well as the number and size of the bite wounds are similar to those observed on other confirmed cattle depredations by wolves," the report by ODFW said. "This combined with the presence of wolf tracks and confirmed presence of Imnaha Pack wolves at the site were adequate to confirm the (calves) as a confirmed wolf depredation."\

In a previous attack, investigated on March 9, ODFW reported that Imnaha Pack wolves killed a calf. On March 25, the wolves were deemed responsible for killing an adult ram (sheep).

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