The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife has confirmed wolves killed an alpaca Sunday on private land in Union County.
Investigators found tracks and blood in the snow as evidence of an attack by three wolves in the Starkey area southwest of La Grande. GPS data also placed OR-30, a collared male wolf, about 130 yards from the carcass at 5 a.m. the same morning.
The incident comes just a few weeks after ODFW ruled that wolves “probably” killed a llama in a different area of Union County, which evoked sharp criticism from landowner and retired rancher Howard Cantrell about the investigation findings.
The OR-30 pair was most recently documented in 2016, occupying a large territory spanning the northern Starkey and Ukiah units south of Interstate 84. OR-30 originally dispersed from the Snake River pack and spent most of 2015 in the Starkey, Ukiah and Mount Emily units of northeast Oregon.
This is the first livestock predation attributed to the OR-30 pair.