Washington wolf

A calf has been killed by wolves in southeastern Washington state, officials said Friday.

The Grouse Flats wolfpack in southeast Washington killed a calf in a 160-acre fenced pasture, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife said today.

Fish and Wildlife employees found the dead 400- to 450-pound calf July 8 in the department’s 4-0 Ranch Wildlife Area. The calf belonged to a rancher who has a permit to graze livestock there.

The wolfpack is in Asotin County, which borders Oregon and Idaho. The department confirmed the pack attacked two calves and one cow last year.

Only one other depredation has occurred in the past 10 months. Department policy calls for it to consider culling a pack after four depredations in 10 months or three depredations in 30 days. Previously, the most-recent depredation was Oct. 28.

Fish and Wildlife Director Kelly Susewind ordered the department Wednesday to kill one or two wolves in the OPT pack in the Colville National Forest in northeast Washington. The department has not provided an update.

The calf found dead in Asotin County suffered wounds inflicted by wolves, Fish and Wildlife investigators concluded. Most of the hindquarters were consumed, investigators said.

The rancher monitors the herd regularly and removes livestock carcasses to avoid attracting wolves, according to the department.

Since the most recent attack, the rancher has added motion-detection lights and will check the herd more often until the cattle can be moved to a different pasture, according to the department.

The Grouse Flats pack had at least eight wolves at the end of 2018, according to Fish and Wildlife’s count. It was the state’s second-largest pack. The pack’s territory extends south into Oregon.

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