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Wolf attacks three calves in Klamath County

Eric Mortenson, Capital Press
< Courtesy of ODF OR-25, a yearling male in the Imnaha Pack, is shown after being radio-collared on May 20, 2014. It has split from that pack and is now in Klamath County, where it recently attacked three calves, killing one.

The attacks are the first outside of Northeast Oregon, where the vast majority of the state's wolves roam.

A calf was killed and eaten in Klamath County and two others were badly mauled in the first confirmed wolf attacks on livestock outside Northeast Oregon

Tracking collar data showed a wolf designated OR-25 was at the attack site five times between Oct. 28 and Nov. 2. The calves were attacked in a 100-acre pasture on private land in the upper Williamson River area, according to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.



OR-25 is a male wolf that dispersed from the Imnaha Pack and traveled through the Columbia Basin, Southern Blue Mountains and Northern and Central Cascades. He’s been in the Sprague wildlife management area of Klamath County since May, according to ODFW.

In August, the department designated the region an Area of Known Wolf Activity and encouraged livestock owners to take defensive measures, part of the process required under the Oregon wolf plan. The wolf wears a GPS tracking collar that emits a location signal to a computer at regular intervals.

The livestock attack comes as the ODFW Commission is set to decide Nov. 9 whether to remove gray wolves from the state endangered species list.

The wolf and the Klamath County attack site are physically outside the state endangered species jurisdiction, but the de-listing decision is expected to attract a large crowd and emotional, conflicting testimony. The attack may be seen as additional evidence wolves are expanding in numbers and range, as state wildlife biologists said when they recommended wolves be removed from the state endangered species list.

State Endangered Species Act protection applies to wolves east of Oregon Highways 395, 78 and 95, roughly the eastern one-third of the state. Federal ESA jurisdiction covers the rest of the state west of the highways.

Investigation of the Klamath County attacks began when an unidentified livestock producer reported finding an injured 350-pound heifer in the pasture Oct. 31, the carcass of a dead calf Nov. 1 and another injured calf Nov. 2. The injured calves had severe bite wounds and “massive tissue damage” to their hind legs, according to an ODFW report.

Of the carcass, “very little remained of the dead calf for examination,” ODFW reported. The department confirmed a wolf was responsible for all three.

OR-25 is believed to be alone. The department has no evidence he has a mate or pups, said Michelle Dennehy, ODFW spokeswoman.


ODFW’s depredation reporthttp://dfw.state.or.us/Wolves/docs/dep_inv/151103_Klamath_Depredation_Report.pdf



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