ENDANGERED SPECIES — An outdoorsman who knew how to use a good camera captured sharp images of a tagged gray wolf on Feb. 11 that had wandered into Chelan County.
Craig Monette of Chelan the photos to Washington Fish and Wildlife biologists who were able to read the number on the ear tags and ID the wolf as originating from Kittitas County. He also presented the photos to the Wenatchee World, saying, “I think people should know wolves are out there.”
“They were absolutely incredible photos,” said David Volson, a wildlife biologist for Fish and Wildlife in Wenatchee. Volson said a blowup of the photos allowed him to read the number on the tag in the wolf’s ear and positively identify it as a young female that was caught and tagged last fall in the Teanaway Valley.
Two packs have been documented along the east slopes of the Cascades, he said, the Teanaway Wolf Pack in northern Kittitas County and the Lookout Wolf Pack in western Okanogan County.
The wolf Monette photographed is probably about 2 years old and out looking for a new home, Volson told the Wenatchee World.
“We know wolves are dispersers,” he said. At about 2 years of age, some will travel 50 to 75 miles or more looking for new territory. Volson said biologists recently tracked one wolf from the Teanaway who was fitted with a remote collar all the way to Canada, nearly 300 miles. He thinks this wolf may be following a similar route.