The Imnaha wolf OR-7 has been in the spotlight for months, ever since he left his pack and traveled solo more than 700 miles from northeast Oregon to northern California. His journey has made headlines across the world – including Finland, Australia and London.
But until this week, there were no known pictures of the world-famous wolf. Today the Medford Mail-Tribune published what is believed to be the first known photograph of the lone wolf. It was taken by a trail camera set up by hunter Allen Daniels, according to the Mail-Tribune, and the paper reports state officials believe the wolf in the photo is “likely” OR-7:
“Roblyn Brown, assistant wolf biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, said satellite tracking technology confirms OR-7 was in that area at that time and date. After reviewing the photograph Tuesday, Brown said the wolf on the image appears to have a GPS collar on and it “likely” is OR-7.
Though biologists captured the 2-year-old male in late February from northeastern Oregon’s Imnaha pack, no photo was taken of OR-7 before his release.
Daniels said he is not seeking any public attention for garnering the photograph, but figures people might want to see a glimpse of the animal that was the first confirmed wolf in Western Oregon in 65 years and last week became California’s first confirmed wolf since 1924.”
Meanwhile, wolf advocates at Oregon Wild have completed their campaign to give OR-7 another name. The name “Journey” got about 40 percent of 700 online votes to name the wolf, according to Oregon Wild. The name was suggested by a 7-year-old girl in Mountain Home, Idaho, and an 11-year-old in Dickinson, North Dakota. The group also hosted an art contest and named the winner this week.
The winner came from an 8-year-old Portland girl named Enora whose depiction of wolves howling into a moonlight night captured the spirit of OR-7 and his search for a mate is the image you see above. I’m still working on getting a copy of the trail camera photo. I’ll post it asap.