Togo pack depredation

The Togo wolfpack in northeast Washington has killed one calf and injured two others since Fish and Wildlife decided to shoot the pack's two wolves.

The Togo wolfpack in northeast Washington has killed one calf and injured two others since Fish and Wildlife decided to shoot the pack's two wolves, the department said Friday.

Fish and Wildlife said it has not killed either of the wolves. Department Director Kelly Susewind authorized the use of lethal removal Aug. 9 because the wolves have been attacking cattle in the Kettle River Range.

On Aug. 11, Fish and Wildlife investigated three attacks on calves. One calf was killed a few hours before being found, according to the department. The two calves had been attacked earlier but survived.

One calf suffered bite wounds to the hamstring, flank, hock and hindquarters. The injuries appeared to be at least a week old, the department reported.

The third calf had bite wounds to the hindquarter and groin. The wounds appeared to be three to four days old, according to the department.

The calves were treated on private ground for later release back onto a Forest Service grazing allotment.

Fish and Wildlife has confirmed the Togo wolfpack has attacked at least 14 cattle since November 2017. The department shot one wolf in the pack last September. Another wolf was shot by a rancher July 24. The department said the shooting was lawful because the wolf was attacking cattle.

The depredations on livestock by the Togo pack picked up this summer. Fish and Wildlife has confirmed six attacks in the past 30 days. Department policy calls for the director to consider using lethal removal after three attacks in 30 days.

Also in the Kettle River Range, Fish and Wildlife killed four wolves in the OPT pack Friday shortly before a court hearing on the other side of the state. A King County Superior Court judge Friday ordered the department to cease the operation. By then, however, the department already had suspended it.

Fish and Wildlife killed a total of eight wolves in the pack this summer, and the department said it's unsure whether there are any left. The ninth wolf was seen late in the spring, but it may have come from a different pack, the department said Friday.

In court, the hearing proceeded under the assumption there was one wolf left. Judge John McHale granted the preliminary injunction sought by King County residents John Huskinson and Genevieve Jaquez-Schumacher, and Kettle Range Conservation Group director Tim Coleman.

The injunction does not apply to the Togo pack.

The plaintiffs claim the department has not adequately reviewed the environmental consequences of shooting wolves to protect livestock.

Fish and Wildlife said it conducted a thorough scientific review before it adopted a wolf recovery plan in 2011. The plan called for using lethal removal to stop chronic depredations on livestock. The department says lethal control has not prevented the state's wolf population from growing and expanding.

Recommended for you