A gray wolf from Oregon has wandered into Nevada County, marking the farthest south in California that the species has been known to roam.
The 2-year-old female wolf, known as OR-54, is being tracked with a GPS collar that was attached back in October, while she was still in Oregon.
She crossed into California back in mid-April. Late last week, she wandered briefly into Nevada County, just north of Interstate 80.
Kent Laudon, a wolf specialist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, says livestock and pets could be threatened, but the animals are not wired to attack humans.
“Wolves are pretty timid critters,” Laudon said. “The woods are still safe but if you ever encountered one, of course you’d want to be smart, try not to approach the animal, of course, like you’d do with all wildlife.”
Laudon says if the wolf from Oregon has met up with a mate, she may start to carve out a new territory.
The wolf did interact with the only known wolf pack in California, the Lassen pack, during her travels south into Sierra and Nevada counties.
OR-54 has wandering in her genes. She’s the daughter of OR-7, a male who also made history for his extension of the species’ range.