Footloose Wolf Needs His Batteries Recharged

By Tom Bacon

While airborne hunters try to track and kill at least four wolves in Stevens County which are under a death sentence because of sheep depredation, a hunt will also be underway for a lone wolf in Oregon, But in the case of the world's most famous wolf, the idea is to re-collar him, not kill him.

The peripatetic wolf in Oregon is named OR-7. He became a celebrity in the last three years or so for his wide-ranging roaming habits which carried him across about 3-thousand miles and then a trek across the Cascade range, which made him the first wolf in western Oregon since the 1930s. In his meanderings, OR-7 picked up a mate and now has three pups.

In 2011, federal wildlife biologists managed to snare him and fit him with a battery powered GPS collar, but the batteries are probably past their useful lifetime.

Since OR-7 has become the head of a family, he's apparently more settled, and is believed to have staked out his home territory in southern Oregon, around Jackson, Klamath and Douglas Counties.
Wildlife specialists plan to set out a number of foot-hold traps in his haunts, hoping to snare OR-7 or at least, one of his pups.

Oregon biologists have snagged 28 wolves in the state to be collared, following the first known wolf migration from Idaho in 2009. The location-pinpointing collars can help the state wildlife agency warn ranchers when a pack is wandering near their livestock herds. Oregon now has at least 64 wolves, divided into eight packs, plus a newly discovered group near Enterprise in eastern Oregon.

OR-7, by the way, has never been accused of livestock depredation.
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