San Francisco — California’s lone wolf has returned to Oregon after he wasn’t able to find a mate in the Golden State.
OR7, also known as Journey, entered California earlier this year, becoming the first wolf to roam freely in the California in 88 years.
The radio-collared wolf spent the past two months in Siskiyou, Shasta and Lassen counties and his whereabouts have been tracked by wildlife managers in Oregon and California. The wolf’s behavior – leaving his pack in Oregon – is typical and wildlife officials said he is likely searching for a mate to start his own pack.
He returned to Oregon around noon Thursday and as of last night was in Jackson County, said Russ Morgan, wolf coordinator with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
“It’s possible OR7 will cross back into California and be using areas in both states,” Morgan said. “While wolves crossing state boundaries may be significant for people, wolves and other wildlife don’t pay attention to state borders.”
Journey became a statewide sensation when he crossed into California’s Siskiyou County on December 28, 2011. Environmentalists threw out the welcome mat for the gray wolf, which has traveled more than 1,000 miles across deserts, mountains and highways since leaving his Oregon pack in September.
The last known California wolf was trapped and killed in Lassen County in 1924.
But California ranchers worried that newly resurrected California wolves would threaten cows and calves. Hunters don’t like wolves any more than ranchers do, mainly because the animals prey on elk, a favorite hunting trophy.
– The only known video of the wolf known as OR7 can be seen at sfg.ly/yqdOBb.
— Information about gray wolves can be found at www.dfw.state.or.us/wolves.
— The meanderings of OR7 can be followed at www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/nongame/wolf.