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Three wolf attacks confirmed near Fort Klamath

by  Stephen Floyd, Herald and News 10/22/16

State officials have confirmed three recent wolf attacks against livestock in the Fort Klamath area resulting in two calves dead and one injured.

In a release published Monday, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) said they confirmed three attacks took place last week on private land in the Wood River Valley.

The first two attacks were reported Wednesday by a cattle producer who discovered the calves among his herd.

According to the release, the first attack occurred Oct. 2 against an 800-pound calf, who was found dead the next day by a ranch hand who said he saw three wolves feeding on the carcass.

The second attack was on Oct. 4 and resulted in the death of a 600-pound calf.

The third attack took place Wednesday night against a 300-pound calf, which the rancher said he heard making noises of distress that evening consistent with a nearby threat. The calf was found Thursday morning with injuries with bite marks and scratches to all four legs.

While it is believed the Rogue Pack was the most likely cause of the depredation, as they are known to be in the area during this time of year, authorities said wolves in the pack are not equipped with radio collars and they cannot say for sure.

“There’s a chance it’s not (the Rogue Pack), but we believe it was,” said John Stephenson, wolf coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Stephenson said his agency has been seeking opportunities to fit a member of the pack with a radio collar but has yet to do so. He said the opportunities still exists that an undocumented wolf or group of wolves in the area was responsible.

Stephenson said the plan at this time is to compose a conflict deterrence plan with non-lethal methods for avoiding conflicts with wolves. Despite the number of animals involved, Stephen said the attacks remain isolated incidents and there is no plan yet to reduce the number of wolves in the area.

“I think there’s a good chance to make it stop with nonlethal action,” said Stephenson.

Once completed, a copy of the plan will be available at www.dfw.state.or.us/Wolves/wolf_livestock_updates.asp.


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