Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed a wolf attack on a calf owned by a Wallowa County rancher June 14. It is the first confirmed depredation of the year in the county.
The rancher found a three-month-old calf weighing 350 lbs. in a large privately owned tract of rangleland on the Promise Road near Milepost 5 June 12. Both of the calf’s legs had visible trauma.
The rancher took the calf to a veterinary clinic for examination. The estimated time of the attack was several days prior.
Examination showed bite marks were found on the inside, rear and outside of both hind legs above the hocks. The bites were associated with muscle tissue trauma and indicated a predator attack.
The size, location and number of the bite injuries were similar to injuries observed in calves previously attacked by wolves. Individual wolves have been documented in the area, but no known pack currently inhabits the location.
Another report of a depredation near Enterprise the following day remains under investigation.
On June 18, the ODFW confirmed three additional depredations in the Joseph Creek area.
A rancher found two injured 200-lb. calves in a large creek-bottom pasture on private land June 13. The rancher reported seeing a wolf near the livestock the previous day and the following day. Both calves had visible open wounds on the hind legs.
The calves were taken to a veterinarian for treatment and an ODFW investigation began the same day. The investigation found the injuries to the animals probably occurred during two seperate events 12 to 48 hours apart.
The examination found bite marks, and large open wounds were found on the inside, back and outside of the rear legs above the hocks as well as muscle tissue trauma associated with the bite marks, which the ODFW concluded were clear indications of predator attack.
The report noted that the location, muscle tissue trauma, and severity of the injuries were similar to those observed in other calves attacked by wolves. Both incidents occurred within the territory of the Chesnimnus Pack.
According to the ODFW report, another 190-pound calf was found with injuries to its hind legs later on the same day and in the same pasture as the previous incident. The calf was taken to a veterinarian for treatment and ODFW investigation on June 14. The ODFW estimated the injuries occurred the previous day.
Examination of the injured calf revealed multiple canine punctures and tooth scrape marks to both rear legs above the hocks, which indicated evidence of a predator attack. A large open wound with multiple bite marks and severe muscle trauma was present above the hock on the left rear leg as well as paired bite punctures and scrapes with two-inch spacing.
The canine teeth spacing, location of the injuries and the severity of the trauma was similar to other confirmed wolf attack injuries on calves, ODFW said. The location of that attack was within the Chesnimnus Pack Area of Known Wolf Attack.