SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Wedge wolf pack in northeast Washington has attacked seven more cattle, bringing the number of depredations by the pack to nearly a dozen since May 11.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife investigated and confirmed the depredations on Saturday at a private ranch, a department spokeswoman told The Capital Press. All the cattle suffered injuries, she said.
The pack crossed the threshold for the department to consider lethal removal with four earlier attacks. The department opted not to cull the pack.
The department has not made a decision on how to respond to the depredations confirmed Saturday, the spokeswoman said.
Fish and Wildlife killed seven wolves in the Wedge pack in 2012, leaving two surviving members. It was the first time the department had culled a pack since wolves began returning to Washington.
After a prolonged period of no confirmed attacks, the Wedge pack killed a cow in a private pasture in June 2019, according to Fish and Wildlife.
The Wedge pack had three wolves at the end of 2019, according to Fish and Wildlife.
Fish and Wildlife and wolf advocates are waiting for a Seattle judge to rule on whether the department’s lethal-removal protocol is legal. Wolf advocates argue the protocol was written without adequate environmental and public review. The department argues it has a broad mandate to protect life and property from dangerous wildlife.