Friday, November 26, 2021
Nov. 26, 2021

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Wolf killed for preying on cattle in Columbia County


SPOKANE — The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Monday that an adult male wolf was killed in Columbia County, drawing criticism from wildlife advocates who contend that endangered wolves should not be slain for preying on livestock.

The wolf was killed last Thursday in an area of new wolf-pack activity in the southeast corner of the state, the department said. The department is authorized until Dec. 10 to kill another wolf from the newly formed pack.

The department said it believes there are four adults and four pups in this new pack that have been preying on cattle since August despite precautions taken by ranchers — including hiring range riders, regular cattle checks, lighting up pastures, removing carcasses of dead cattle and making noise to keep wolves away from pastures.

Wildlife activists decried the killing of the wolf.

“Normally we’d be celebrating the formation of a new wolf pack in Washington. But I’m saddened that the Department of Fish and Wildlife killed a wolf and has authorized killing another from the same family,” said Amaroq Weiss of the Center for Biological Diversity.

Zoë Hanley, northwest representative with Defenders of Wildlife, said her group is “saddened the state resorted to killing one of these newly discovered wolves.”

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has documented five wolf deaths in the state in 2021.

Wolves were killed off in Washington by the 1930s but returned to the state early this century from neighboring Idaho and British Columbia. There have been numerous conflicts with ranchers since then.

Most of the estimated 178 wolves in the state live in Eastern Washington.