A female wolf that’s become too comfortable hanging around homes and domestic dogs near Ione will be captured and put in a Western Washington wildlife park, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officials said Wednesday.
The capture, which is planned for this week, would be the first time wildlife officials put one of the state-listed endangered species into captivity as the wolves are reintroducing themselves into the state.
The wolf had been captured and fitted with a radio collar in July 2013 and eventually found another female companion to form the Ruby Creek Pack. When biologists suspected the other wolf had been bred by a domestic dog that had joined them last winter, they captured the wolf, spayed it and turned it loose.
That wolf was later killed in a vehicle collision, leaving the Ruby Creek wolf on her own again.
She has generally stayed out of trouble, but has been seen playing with pet dogs, said Nate Pamplin, state wildlife program director. Biologists fear she will mate with a dog during the winter breeding season, he said.
Wolf Haven International in Tenino, Wash., has agreed to take the wolf into captivity.
If it doesn’t fit in, it likely would be euthanized, Pamplin said.
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