Two calves killed in Bly area, at least one by a wolf or wolves
Two calves were killed in the Bly area of Klamath County in recent days. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said both deaths were investigated Sunday, with one determined as being caused by a wolf or wolves while the second remains unconfirmed.
The first kill was reported Oct. 29. According to the ODFW report, that morning a ranch manager found a dead 7-month-old, 400-pound calf in a small private pasture.
“Most tissue on the hind quarters, ribs and all the internal organs were missing, but the front quarters, neck, and head were intact. The hide was intact on the front half of the calf and other portions of the hide (including one hind leg) were present,” according to the report. It estimated the calf died about five days before the investigation.
Physical evidence and summary of findings reported that, “Portions of the calf carcass were shaved, skinned and examined. Pre-mortem hemorrhage and tissue trauma was observed at the lower jaw, with some hemorrhage extending 6 inches down the neck. The pre-mortem injury to the throat is consistent with predation injuries on calves, but the area lacked diagnostic bite marks in the hide confirming predator species. No bite scrapes were found in the hide, including near the elbows, a common attack point for wolves. No hemorrhage or tissue trauma was found anywhere but the upper neck (throat) and lower jaw.
“Because the majority of hide and tissue from the hindquarters, a common attack point for wolves, was missing, the determination is possible/unknown,” the report said.
The second Bly-area kill was reported by a ranch manager who found a dead 530-pound calf in a 110-acre private pasture Sunday morning. It was estimated the calf died about three days earlier. According to the report, “Extensive feeding was observed on the hind quarters, pelvis and internal organs, but the remainder of carcass was intact.”
According to physical evidence, “Portions of the calf carcass were shaved, skinned and examined. Numerous bite marks up to [0.25-inch] wide with associated pre-mortem hemorrhaging and tissue trauma up to two inches deep were found in and around both front elbows. Pre-mortem hemorrhaging was found on the remaining hide and tissue of the inside left rear leg above the hock.
“This is clear evidence of a predator attack. The location and severity of the injuries are similar to injuries observed in calves attacked by wolves. GPS location data places a radio collared wolf within 700 yards of the calf around the estimated time of death. This depredation is attributed to LAS13M AKWA wolf or wolves.
In February, ODFW designated a new AKWA, or Area of Known Wolf Activity, in portions of Klamath, Lake and Deschutes counties. LAS13M refers to a male wolf that left the Lassen Pack in California in late 2020 and is believed to be traveling alone. Within AKWAs certain preventative measures are recommended to minimize wolf-livestock conflicts. According to the agency, “though not required, nonlethal measures are important to reduce depredation. If depredation becomes chronic and lethal control become necessary, ODFW’s ability to lethally remove depredating wolves will be dependent on the extent that nonlethal measures have been used and documented.”
Reach freelance writer Lee Juillerat at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-880-4139.