Famous Oregon wolf is alive and well, but lonely

I was so happy to read about OR-7 traveling back to Oregon to try to find a mate. My question is about a Mail Tribune article last year that had OR-7 traveling to another state (I'm not sure which one), where it is legal to hunt wolves — and that he was shot and killed. Were we misinformed or is there another OR-7?

— Dolores S., via email

Well, Dolores, you can rest assured that OR-7 is still out and about in Oregon. You seem to have mistaken him for two of his less-fortunate brethren.

A collared gray wolf, OR-9, left northeastern Oregon's Imnaha pack two months earlier than his brother OR-7, traveling in a different direction and toward a different fate. He migrated to Idaho, where he was shot and killed in February 2012 by a hunter near a cattle feedlot and winter calving area near the town of Emmett, according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

The hunter had an expired wolf tag, but he received just a warning because he had been given incorrect information from a clerk, who told him he could fill that tag legally, Idaho officials said at the time.

In February, Idaho officials reported that collared gray wolf OR-16 was shot and killed legally by a hunter holding an Idaho wolf tag. That wolf, from the Walla Walla pack in northwestern Oregon, had traveled across the Snake River and into Idaho in January.

After spending about three weeks in Jackson County, OR-7 has been in eastern Douglas County for more than a week, says Michelle Dennehy, wolf program spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.


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