File photo courtesy of ODFW
An investigative report released by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife on May 27 lists a wolf or wolves as the probable cause of death for a 6-week-old calf found dead on private land in the Mud Creek drainage area in northern Wallowa County.
According to the report, the owner of the calf found its carcass on May 23 and had last seen the calf alive on the evening of May 22. He called ODFW, and wildlife officials arrived the same day to investigate the incident.
While the investigation indicated no specific evidence of wolf depredation, various bones of the mostly consumed animal suggest it was attacked by a predator with large teeth. A large percentage of the calf was consumed in a short time period, also an indication that wolves may have been involved.
The report states two collared wolves from the Shamrock pack — OR23 and OR21 — were in the vicinity around the time of the calf’s death.
Wildlife officials also recently confirmed a separate depredation involving a sheep on private land near the South Fork of the Walla Walla River in Umatilla County. That kill has been attributed to the Walla Walla pack.
ODFW has either confirmed or reported as “probable” nine wolf depredation incidents in 2016. Seven of those nine occurred in Wallowa County.