Yesterday, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife radio-collared a new wolf that officials are calling OR-16. It’s a young 85-pound male that was captured north of Elgin in an area where officials haven’t seen wolves in the past. It is unknown whether the wolf is part of any of the three known packs in the area – the Wenaha, Walla Walla and Umatilla River – or if it’s entirely new wolf activity. The GPS collar could help answer that question, ODFW reports.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services captured the wolf incidentally in a trap set for cougar that have historically preyed on sheep in the area.
“The equipment was set specifically to capture and hold a cougar and we ended up getting the wolf in that one trap,” said Dave Williams, state director for Wildlife Services. “After we caught the wolf we pulled all the equipment because no one knows if that’s a lone wolf or if it’s associated with any others.”
Michelle Dennehy, spokeswoman for ODFW, said her agency issues permits to Wildlife Services that allow incidental impacts on wolves while trapping other animals. She said OR-16 was released in “excellent health.”