Wolf

Another cow has been killed in northeastern Washington.

The OPT wolfpack has killed another cow in the Kettle River Range in northeast Washington, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said Tuesday.

Fish and Wildlife investigators determined the cow had been attacked by wolves. The cow appeared to have been dead for about two days, though the wounds appeared to be about a week old, a spokeswoman said.

Fish and Wildlife has confirmed 29 attacks on cattle by the pack since Sept. 5.

The attacks have intensified in the past month on a Forest Service grazing allotment in the Colville National Forest. Fish and Wildlife shot one wolf July 13. Since then, the pack has killed or injured nine cattle, according to the department.

Fish and Wildlife announced July 31 it would resume thinning the pack in another try at stopping the depredations. The pack has four adults and at least four pups.

The department has not killed any wolves since resuming lethal removal. The department has adopted a policy of shooting one or two wolves and pausing to see the effect. Cattlemen’s groups say the incremental approach to lethal control has been ineffective and leads to higher cattle losses.

Fish and Wildlife shot two OPT pack wolves last fall.

An animal-welfare group, the Center for a Humane Economy, is seeking a court order to stop the department from culling the pack. A King County Superior Court commissioner Thursday declined to issue an emergency restraining order, but another hearing is scheduled for Aug. 16.

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