WENATCHEE - The deer attacked by a wolf up No. 2 Canyon Tuesday morning had a broken leg, possibly from being hit by a car.
"The wolf was keying in on very vulnerable prey, which is what they do," said Madonna Luers, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. "It was probably in the process of killing it and was going to eat it."
The wolf and deer encounter happened near the Wenatchee Rifle and Revolver Club, which is about 1.3 miles up the canyon from the intersection of Western Avenue and Cherry Street.
The feast was interrupted when neighbors saw the wolf and called authorities. The wolf left the deer but stayed in the area when a Chelan County sheriff's deputy arrived. The deputy put down the deer because it was too badly injured to survive on its own.
Leurs said Fish and Wildlife biologist Scott Becker performed a necropsy on the deer, and found it had been attacked by the wolf. "It had the deer pinned up against a fence," Leurs said.
She said officers talked to people living in the canyon and found that "nobody was hyper-excited" by the presence of a wolf. "They were interested and curious but nobody was overly concerned because they understand that the wolf was doing what wolves do - they eat deer."
She added that people should not be feeding deer. "Now, we've got, not just cougars and coyotes, but wolves," she said. "Where the prey go, the predators go."