OPT pack attacks continue

A wolf leaves after being captured and collared by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in northeast Washington. Sources say three more calves were attacked by wolves from the OPT pack late last week.

An adult male wolf in the OPT pack in northeastern Washington has been killed by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, which will now wait to see whether the pack’s eight surviving wolves continue attacking cattle on federal grazing land.

The department reported Wednesday that it had lethally removed the wolf July 13. The department did not provide details of how it killed the wolf. In the past, the department has usually shot wolves from a helicopter.

The wolf was wearing a radio-collar, allowing the department to track the pack. The pack has at least one surviving wolf with a collar. The pack has at four more adults and at least four pups, according to Fish and Wildlife.

The OPT pack has killed seven and injured 13 cattle since Sept. 5. The department shot two wolves in the pack last fall. Fish and Wildlife resumed culling the pack after investigators concluded July 6 the pack had killed a cow.

Fish and Wildlife said it may kill more OPT pack wolves if the attacks on livestock continue.

The ranch losing the livestock, the Diamond M, has taken steps to protect the herd, as has Fish and Wildlife and the Forest Service. Even with those measures, attacks were likely to continue unless the pack was culled, according to Fish and Wildlife.

Recommended for you