WA: wolves likely caused fatal calf injuries

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Federal and Washington state wildlife managers say wolves likely caused fatal injuries to a Methow Valley calf and the landowner would qualify for compensation.

State Fish and Wildlife regional director Steve Pozzanghera said Wednesday it's not possible to say for sure what killed the calf last Friday because it was mostly consumed when wildlife agents reached it. However, he says early photos taken by the rancher and tracks in the area were consistent with wolves. Also, the ranch near Carlton in north-central Washington is in an area traditionally used by the Lookout wolf pack.

He says the landowner would be the first to qualify for compensation under the state's Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, adopted last year. The Lookout pack is one of five wolf packs confirmed in the state.

Wolves were removed from the Endangered Species list in the eastern one-third of Washington state last year, but they remain a federally protected species in the rest of the state.