New Photos Document OR-7's Wolf Family

One of OR-7's pups | Photo: USFWS

We reported in May that California's wandering part-time wolf, OR-7, was thought by wildlife agency officials to have started a family with a female wolf in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.

That suspicion was confirmed in June, as was OR-7's paternity, when biologists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife purloined pieces of the pups' poop for DNA testing. Though there hasn't been a whole lot of news since then, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has provided us with something even better than news: baby pictures.

Try not to startle your officemates with the squeeing.

Story Continues Below
Support KCET
Slinking past the camera | Photo: USFWS

The photos, taken with a camera trap setup at an undisclosed location in Oregon on July 18, show Mama Wolf and at least one of the pups exploring a dirt road through a thick forest.

OR-7's mate seems to be carrying something | Photo: USFWS

OR-7's trips into the state of California prompted a flurry of activity among fans of the canid carnivore to keep wolves protected in the Golden State, culminating in a decision by the state's Fish and Game Commission to list the gray wolf as Endangered under the California Endangered Species Act. Before OR-7's visits to California in 2011 and 2012, there hadn't been a documented wolf sighting in California since 1922.

Though USFWS labeled this photo "one of OR-7's pups," the transmitter collar makes us wonder whether it might be the old boy himself. | Photo: USFWS

Though biologists are understandably keeping mum about the precise location of the new pack, none of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest is farther than 50 miles from the California state line. That's an easy two-day walk for a mature wolf, which means that once the pups are a bit bigger it's entirely likely that this family will find themselves wandering the Klamath Mountains before we know it.

Eager wolf pup | Photo: USFWS

About the Author

Chris Clarke is a natural history writer and environmental journalist currently at work on a book about the Joshua tree. He lives in Joshua Tree.
RSS icon

Previous

Feds to Consider Ban on Bluefin Tuna Fishing

Next

Hundreds of Threatened Frogs Released in Santa Monica Mountains

LEAVE A COMMENT Leave Comment