BAKER CITY, Ore. (AP) – Officials in Oregon are stepping up efforts to kill wolves from a pack in the eastern part of the state amid continued animal attacks and evidence they are now focusing on the cattle.
KTVZ Reports the Oregon Department of Fisheries and Wildlife decision comes Thursday after nine cattle depredations in two months – despite extensive non-lethal measures in place since early spring and the killing of two wolves from the wolf pack from Lookout Mountain in early August.
The ODFW said it was issuing time-limited slaughter permits to four affected cattle ranchers, allowing them to remove two collared wolves from land they legally own or occupy by October 31.
The agency also said it intended to fatally eliminate four other wolves, including the VHF-collared breeding male. State officials said they had no plans to target the breeding female with a GPS collar.
“This pack has changed their behavior,” says Roblyn Brown, ODFW Wolf coordinator. “Instead of occasionally killing a vulnerable calf, they are now targeting cattle despite the high number of elk and deer in the area where depredation has taken place and the significant human presence to fog the wolves.”
Conservation groups criticize state policies allowing the culling of wolves and argue that gray wolves still need protection as the species is still recovering.