At least three calves and probably a fourth have been attacked by the OPT pack since the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife killed one wolf in hopes of stopping the depredations, the agency said Tuesday.
The department killed the wolf July 13 and said it would wait to see whether the pack’s behavior changed. Fish and Wildlife Director Kelly Susewind was considering the agency’s next move, according to the department.
A Ferry County sheriff’s wildlife deputy discovered two injured calves belonging to the Diamond M Ranch on a federal grazing allotment July 18. Fish and Wildlife investigators examined the animals and concluded they had been bitten by wolves. One calf was euthanized because of the severity of the injuries, according to the department.
Fish and Wildlife investigators examined a dead calf July 20 that was reported the previous day by a member of the public. Investigators concluded the calf likely died from wolf-inflicted wounds fewer than 24 hours before being found.
A GPS collar put on one wolf by the department indicated he was in the area when the calves were found, according to the department.
Fish and Wildlife employees discovered a dead calf Monday while working in the area of the other depredations. The calf was mostly eaten and probably died fewer than 12 hours earlier, according to the department.
Wolf tracks were found at the site. The department classified the attack as “probable.”
The pack has four adults and at least four pups, according to the department.
The department has documented 24 confirmed or probable depredations by the pack since September.
Rancher Len McIrvin of the Diamond M said Monday that non-lethal measures, including range-riders, have been ineffective in reducing attacks on livestock.