Oregon Kills Nearly All Remaining Members Of The Lookout Mountain Wolf Pack, Including Two That Were Not Old Enough To Hunt Yet
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) officials announced this week that the agency killed three more members of the Lookout Mountain Pack, including a yearling and two juveniles that may not have been old enough to hunt yet.
“Today’s action occurred during a helicopter flight and completes the lethal control permit that was announced September 16th which authorized the take of up to six wolves; two of those could have been taken by livestock producers,” noted a statement by the ODFW on October 20th. “This means that no further lethal control of the Lookout Mountain wolves is authorized at this time. Livestock producers with a lethal control permit have been notified that their permit is no longer in effect.”
As previously reported by WAN, the Lookout Mountain wolf family had consisted of a collared breeding male and female, two yearlings, and seven pups born this spring. Sadly, in two separate incidents, the department killed eight members of the pack, including the breeding male, another yearling, and three young pups. Tragically, now only three wolves remain, the collared breeding female and up to two juvenile wolves.
“We are deeply saddened and angered that bullets have reduced this wolf family to a shadow of itself,” Amaroq Weiss, senior wolf advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. “The Department of Fish and Wildlife killed the mate of the pack’s mother. Forced to hunt alone to feed her two remaining pups, it won’t be a surprise if livestock conflicts continue since livestock are easier to kill for a wolf who has lost her packmates. The agency’s rush to kill wolves only makes things worse for the pack and the livestock operators.”
Several times, losses of livestock were not discovered by ranchers for anywhere from 10 days to three weeks after the incidents occurred, even though the Department of Fish and Wildlife claims that livestock operators are monitoring and removing sick or injured animals as to not draw in predators.
Oregon has 1.28 million cattle and 165,000 sheep. As of the end of 2020, the department’s annual wolf report confirmed only 173 wolves in the state. Wolf-caused losses on average each year amount to only 0.001% of Oregon’s livestock.
“Oregon is home to only 173 confirmed wolves, yet the lethal measures the Department of Fish and Wildlife chose as its response to conflicts with livestock have destroyed nearly 5% of the state’s wolf population,” concluded Weiss. “These rare conflicts should be addressed through better livestock husbandry practices, not killing wolves.”
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