State wildlife officials on Friday confirmed a wolf depredation in Wallowa County, likely by a member of the Imnaha Pack.
On the morning of Wednesday, March 9, a rancher reported finding a dead steer calf in a pasture on his private land in the Upper Swamp Creek area. Officials from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife investigated the scene the same day and estimated that the animal had been killed Monday night or early Tuesday morning. The calf was estimated to have weighed about 500 lbs., and the skeleton and hide were mostly intact. All internal organs and most of the muscle tissue had been consumed, according to ODFW.
Evidence at the scene — including bite marks consistent with a wolf attack, wolf tracks and scat — as well as recent reports of the presence of the Imnaha Pack nearby led officials to declare the case a confirmed depredation.
It was ODFW’s fourth wolf depredation investigation of 2016 across the state and the second confirmed Oregon wolf kill so far this year. It was the second investigation in Wallowa County. Wolf involvement in the previous incident — on private land on the Zumwalt Prairie in late February — was categorized as “possible/unknown” after an investigation.