OR-7 saga trots on in California
Where is OR-7, that wandering wolf, now? We haven't heard in close to a week whether he's re-entered Oregon or is working his way farther south in California. You can't give us these stories then expect us to go so long without an OR-7 fix.
— Michelle S., email submission
We're not quite sure where that uber-famous wandering wolf OR-7 is today, Michelle, but the satellite bling he's wearing does show that he was in eastern Lassen County at 6 a.m. Friday and heading south in his wandering search for love.
He had been hanging around one part of Lassen County for the better part of a week, leading some California biologists to speculate that he might have found some food there, likely because of heavy cloud cover, says Mark Stopher, a senior policy adviser for the California Department of Fish and Game.
Then, out of the blue, he traveled more than 10 miles between Thursday and Friday morning, heading south but still in Lassen County, Stopher says.
OR-7's exact locations are not revealed to ensure privacy for this federally protected animal. But he's been zig-zagging across Northern California since leaving Oregon on Dec. 29.
Following OR-7's dispersal journey from his original Imnaha pack in northeast Oregon to Southern Oregon and eventually Northern California, has become quite the rage as this lone wolf rewrites predator history.
When he crossed the Cascade crest from Klamath County into Douglas County in November, be became the first confirmed wolf in Western Oregon in 65 years. When he crossed two weeks ago into eastern Siskiyou County, he became the first confirmed wolf in California since 1924.
Those tracks discovered in the Wood River Valley last month suggest he was traveling alone, but it doesn't mean he's the only wolf out there.
OR-7 just happens to be the first wolf with a satellite collar to make that journey, biologists say. There could be other, non-collared wolves in some of the places he's ventured.
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