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Rogue Pack blamed for three more livestock kills near Fort Klamath

Three more livestock kills by wolves in the Fort Klamath area have been pinned on the Rogue Pack, after three other cattle were killed in July in the same area.

An 850-pound yearling steer was found injured in a 160-acre private-land grass pasture, ODFW reported Wednesday, but due to its deteriorating condition the animal was euthanized Monday. The killing was attributed to wolves of the Rogue Pack, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

On Sunday, wildlife biologists for ODFW confirmed an 850-pound yearling steer that was found dead the night earlier was a wolf kill attributed to the Rogue Pack, a group of four wolves that caused three deaths in July.

Two days earlier, Aug. 7, ODFW biologists confirmed a 750-pound yearling steer was found injured. Because of the extent of injuries, the steer was euthanized. The death was also attributed to the Rogue Pack.

In all three cases, physical evidence determined the deaths were caused by wolves.

The death confirmed Sunday happened in a 400-acre private pasture. The ranch manager found the dead steer. According to the ODFW report, its organs and much of the muscle tissue from the hindquarters had been consumed. The majority of the hide, except for on the abdomen and right flank, was intact. It was estimated the steer died 24 to 36 hours prior to the investigation. After the carcass was skinned and examined, it was determined the steer had multiple premortem tooth scrapes up to quarter-inch wide and 1-inch long behind the elbow of the right leg. There were also areas of premortem hemorrhage and tissue trauma at both front elbows up to 7 to 9 inches across and 1 inch into underlying muscle tissues.

“The premortem bite scrapes and tissue trauma are clear signs of predator attack,” the report stated. “The injuries are similar to injuries observed on other cattle attacked by wolves.”

In the killing confirmed Aug. 7, a landowner found an injured yearling steer in a 420-acre private pasture. Its carcass was intact, except for open wounds at the anus and rectum. Biologists estimated the steer was injured approximately four days before the investigation. When the carcass was skinned and examined, biologists found “premortem tooth scrapes up to quarter-inch wide and up to 3 inches long on the hide around both elbows, the left flank, the anus, and hindquarters above the hock. In addition, they found areas of hemorrhage and tissue trauma at both elbows 6 to 9 inches across and up to 3 inches into underlying muscle tissues. There was an open wound approximately 8-by-10 inches at the groin. The premortem bite scrapes and tissue trauma are clear signs of predator attack,” according to the report.

Two other cattle were found dead, one July 28 and another July 29, in the Fort Klamath area. In addition, a steer was found killed by wolves from the Rogue Pack July 17.

Reach freelance writer Lee Juillerat at 337lee337@charter.net or 541-880-4139.

FILE - In this remote camera photo taken May 3, 2014, and provided by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife the wolf OR-7 stands on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in southwest Oregon's Cascade Mountains. Two more livestock kills by wolves in the Fort Klamath area have been pinned on the Rogue Pack, shortly after three other cattle were killed in July in the same area.