Washington wolf

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife trail camera footage of an adult wolf. A judge has refused to stop the department from culling a wolfpack that has repeatedly attacked livestock.

An environmental group lost its bid Thursday to block the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife from culling the OPT pack in the Kettle River Range.

Two Washington residents supported by the Maryland-based Center for a Humane Economy sought an injunction in King County Superior Court to stop the lethal-removal operation. A court commissioner denied the request.

A Fish and Wildlife spokesman said Friday the department had not started the operation. Fish and Wildlife hoped to first trap and fit wolves with GPS collars to give the department the ability to track the pack.

The department shot one wolf July 13 in hopes the pack would stop preying on cattle on a Forest Service allotment in Ferry County. The depredations on livestock continued, however, and the department Wednesday announced it would resume thinning the pack.

The pack has four adults and at least four pups, according to the department.

The department shot two OPT wolves last fall, but the pack attacked cattle over the winter and resumed attacks in July.

Fish and Wildlife has not announced how many wolves it will try to kill. The department has been following a strategy of shooting one or two wolves and hoping the pack's behavior will change.

Wayne Pacelle, former CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, is president of the Center for a Humane Economy. 

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