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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Wolf pack traced with radio collars

Compiled from wire reports

Avery, Idaho Two wolves have been fitted with radio collars in northern Idaho along the Montana state line to help wildlife managers track the Avery pack.

There are currently three verified wolf packs in western Shoshone County — the Five Lakes Butte pack, Marble Creek pack and Avery pack.

There is also a suspected wolf pack in the Priest Lake area east to the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness area on the Montana border, but no wolves in that pack are being traced.

The average pack has about eight wolves, but females just had pups this spring, noted Jim Hayden, Idaho Department of Fish and Game regional wildlife manager.

“We’ve got a crew out there right now trying to find out how many pups there are,” Hayden said.

The Avery wolf pack has two pups and the pack size is likely six wolves, including the pups, Hayden said.

“But we don’t have a good count yet,” he added.

In 1995 and 1996, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released gray wolves into central Idaho and Yellowstone National Park as part of a program to re-establish wolf populations in the Northwest. The wolves are now exceeding recovery goals in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

Since the first 35 were released in central Idaho, the population has grown to an estimated 500 wolves within state lines, Fish and Game estimates.

Montana officials to manage wolves

Helena Federal wildlife authorities on Friday turned over management of gray wolves in Montana to the state, a long-awaited step in efforts to rebuild a stable wolf population in the region.

The federal agency’s decision is viewed as an important step in the effort to eventually remove federal protection for wolves.

Boy Scout killed in camp accident

Boise A Boy Scout died at a summer camp when he plunged 15 feet, apparently after a “zip line” he was using to glide along a cable between two trees became entangled in a rope and suddenly jerked to a stop, officials said.

Jeffrey Kenneth Lloyd, 17, of Eagle, a Boise suburb, was pronounced dead just over an hour after the accident Wednesday morning.

Visitor dies in crash after car hits rail

Yellowstone National Park, Wyo. A park visitor died after his vehicle struck a guard rail and rolled Friday.

The name of the 52-year-old man was withheld while authorities notified his family, park officials said in a release.

The man was traveling alone about three miles east of West Thumb Junction when his northbound vehicle failed to negotiate a curve and struck a log curb rail about 3:40 p.m.

The vehicle rolled and landed on its top. He died at the scene.

The accident was being investigated, park officials said.

Idaho couple has special delivery

Boise A Meridian couple say they have a new definition for “drive-through delivery.”

Oscar Nunez was driving his pregnant wife, Cynthia, to the hospital when things began to happen a little more quickly than planned.

As he tried to beat the traffic on busy Eagle Road, it became clear to the mother-to-be that the baby wasn’t going to wait.

“My wife says, ‘I think he’s coming,’ and I say, ‘No, don’t worry about it, just be patient, we’ll be there in a few minutes,” Nunez told KTVB-TV on Friday. “The first thing that comes to my mind is that I have to calm the situation down, let her understand we’re just a few moments from getting help.”

Then she was holding their second child in her arms. Baby boy Jovani was born on the front passenger seat of the family car.

Oscar Nunez called the hospital to tell them to have medical staff waiting. Doctors met the family at the emergency-room entrance to St. Luke’s Medical Center, and cut the umbilical cord before the new mother was out of the car.

Shoshone Falls flows for first time in 6 years

Twin Falls, Idaho The waterfalls known as the “Niagara of the West” roared back to life this week for the first time in six years with the release of water from upstream dams to aid salmon migration.

The increased flow over the 214-foot-high Shoshone Falls followed an unseasonably rainy spring in southern Idaho that filled reservoirs in the Upper Snake River Basin to more than 80 percent of capacity.

That allowed the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to release additional water. It’s the first time since 2001 that the dam management agency has been able to provide the full amount of water set forth in a federal-tribal agreement. The drought period stretched back to 1999.

“Compared to all the mountains, rivers and canyons we’ve seen, I think this is the most impressive,” said June Burelison of Winchester, Ind., who was visiting the falls on Thursday with her husband.