Washington wolves

A wolf in Washington state. A wolf pack has injured four calves in the past month, according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The Leadpoint wolf pack in northeast Washington injured four calves in a private pasture last month, the Department of Fish and Wildlife said Friday.

The attacks meet the threshold for Fish and Wildlife to consider lethal removal. Instead of moving to lethal control, the department said it would work with the rancher and Cattle Producers of Washington riders to prevent more depredations.

The calves were in a private pasture in Stevens County, according to the department. Fish and Wildlife examined the wounds of all four calves on June 19.

The department estimated one calf was attacked seven to 10 days earlier. Two other calves were attacked three to six days earlier, and a fourth calf had been injured within 48 hours, the department estimated.

The rancher had tried to protect the cattle from wolves with several non-lethal deterrents, including a range-rider.

Since the attacks were documented, Fish and Wildlife conflict specialists and biologists, a Stevens County wildlife deputy and a Cattle Producers of Washington rider installed lights and put more than a mile of ribbons around the pasture, according to the department.

Fish and Wildlife counted at least seven wolves in the Leadpoint pack at the end of 2019. The department trapped and put a radio collar on a male wolf in the pack on June 10, a department spokeswoman said.

Fish and Wildlife protocol calls for the department to consider lethal removal after three attacks in 30 days or four in 10 months. The department also considers whether the attacks might be stopped by more non-lethal measures.

Two other northeast Washington wolf packs crossed the threshold recently. Fish and Wildlife Director Kelly Susewind has authorized the culling up to two wolves in the Togo pack. The department has not moved to cull the Wedge pack, which attacked four calves between May 11 and June 17.

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