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WA: Five calves attacked by new Washington wolfpack

Wildlife managers confirm between Sept. 5 and 7 that wolves in an unnamed pack killed one calf and injured four.

Don Jenkins
Capital Press

Wolves attacked at least five calves last week in territory once occupied by the Profanity Peak pack in Ferry County in northeast Washington.

The pack officially ceased to exist last year, but a new and unnamed pack has three or four adult wolves and two or three pups, according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The department documented between Wednesday and Friday that the pack killed one calf and injured four others. Fish and Wildlife is more likely to confirm wolf depredations on calves that survive because wounds are visible. A pile of bones is not enough evidence for the department to attribute an attack to wolves.

The department initially said two of the attacks were “probable” wolf depredations, but are now calling all of the attacks confirmed. Efforts to reach the department for further comment Monday morning were unsuccessful.

Fish and Wildlife will consider initially killing one or two wolves in a pack after three attacks on livestock in 30 days if the department concludes that more non-lethal measures will not stop more depredations.

As of Monday morning, the department had not given notice that it intends to cull the pack. The department has agreed to give environmental groups one business day’s notice to allow them to seek a temporary restraining order.

Fish and Wildlife Director Kelly Susewind said in a statement Friday evening that the “situation is evolving quickly.”

Fish and Wildlife shot seven Profanity Peak pack wolves in 2016 to stop attacks on cattle. The surviving members of the pack broke up. Two wolves traveling together qualifies as a pack.

Also in Ferry County, a calf was euthanized Friday after apparently being mauled by wolves. The attack occurred in the Togo pack territory, according to sources. The department shot the pack’s only known male adult Sept. 2, leaving an adult female and at least two pups. Fish and Wildlife has not confirmed whether the pack injured the calf.