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Two new wolf pups confirmed in OR-7's Rogue Pack

Wolf OR-7 and his mate have added two more little ones to their Rogue Pack, federal authorities said today.

Fresh pup scat found during recent retrieval of trail cameras around the family's den site in the wilds of eastern Jackson County confirmed that a second set of pups were born to go along with the three animals born last year, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Trail camera images also confirm that the three pups born to the pair last year have survived, according to the service, bringing the size of the Rogue Pack to seven wolves.

Agency biologists have put together a short time-lapse video of the now full-sized yearlings playing during the early-morning hours of June 24.

Biologists currently have a bit less information on OR-7 now that his GPS collar has died. The tracking device helped biologists and interested people worldwide follow OR-7 as he journeyed from northeastern Oregon into Southern Oregon and then Northern California, before returning north of the border.

They hope to add a GPS collar to at least one member of the Rogue Pack later this summer. OR-7's collar still has a functioning VHS radio transmitter, allowing biologists to track the pack using radio-telemetry equipment.

OR-7 was a young member of Oregon's Imnaha pack in the far northeast corner of the state when he was collared in February 2011, eight months before he left the pack in a "dispersal" trek in search of a mate and new territory.

He traveled south and west until he crossed the Cascade crest, becoming the first wolf in western Oregon since 1937. He later spent more than a year traveling in Northern California, where he was the Golden State's first known wolf since 1924.

OR-7 eventually found his mate and fathered the first wolf pack in southwestern Oregon in more than six decades.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/MTwriterFreeman.