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Death Of OR-4 A Sobering Turn For Oregon’s Wolf Plan

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists place a new GPS collar on OR-4, the Imanha wolf pack's alpha male, on March 28, 2012.

They called him OR-4, and by some accounts he was Oregon’s biggest and baddest wolf, 97 pounds of cunning in his prime and the longtime alpha male of Wallowa County’s influential Imnaha Pack.

But OR-4 was nearly 10, old for a wolf in the wild. And his mate limped with a bad back leg. Accompanied by two yearlings, they apparently separated from the rest of the Imnaha Pack or were forced out. In March, they attacked and devoured or injured calves and sheep five times in private pastures.

So on March 31, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife staff boarded a helicopter, rose up and shot all four.

The decisive action by ODFW may have marked a somber turning point in the state’s work to restore wolves to the landscape. It comes on the heels of the ODFW Commission’s decision in November 2015 to take gray wolves off the state endangered species list, and just as the commission is beginning a review of the Oregon Wolf Plan, the document that governs wolf conservation and management.

To read more, visit Capital Press.

Copyright 2016 Capital Press