Pend Oreille County may be home to wolf pair

FRIDAY, JULY 10, 2009, 8:18 P.M.

Washington wildlife biologists are trying to put two and two together before officially declaring that a wolf pack has formed in Pend Oreille County.

DNA tests announced Friday by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife have confirmed a male gray wolf is roaming the same forest area where remote motion-activated cameras in May photographed two canines – a male and a lactating female – that appeared to be wolves.

Biologists with the WDFW and Department of Natural Resources are on the lookout to confirm whether the pair is raising what could be the county’s first wolf pups in at least 70 years, wildlife officials said.

If a breeding wolf pack is found, it would be the second confirmed, resident wolf pack in Washington. Last summer a breeding pair of wolves was radio-collared in western Okanogan County.

Meanwhile, WDFW biologists also are investigating reports of wolf sightings in the Blue Mountains of southeastern Washington.

The gray wolf is a state endangered species throughout Washington.

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