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

Officials confirm that Togo wolf is injured after being shot by rancher in northeast Washington

A member of the Togo wolf pack was shot and injured last week state officials confirmed Tuesday.

A Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist and a Ferry county wildlife specialist located the injured male wolf Monday, according to a WDFW news release.

According to the release the wolf is injured but mobile. The officials got within 20 yeards of the animal and saw that its left rear leg appeared to be broken below the knee. WDFW will continue to monitor the collared wolf. If the wolf stops moving officials will consider euthanizing the animal.

A Ferry County rancher said he shot at the adult wolf in self-defense, Thursday. The rancher said he saw pups and heard barking and growling. He shot at the wolf as it barked and approached him, the rancher said.

Last week WDFW ordered the lethal removal of wolves from the Togo pack in northeast Washington. However, environmental groups quickly filed a lawsuit temporarily blocking the action.

The Togo pack has been credited with six documented cattle depredations in the past 10 months with three of those cattle attacks occurring within the past 30 days. The most recent documented depredation occurred when one or more wolves injured a calf on a U.S. Forest Service grazing allotment in Ferry County.

The temporary restraining order has frustrated ranchers and some conservation groups.

The alleged shooting was within the Togo pack range, according to a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife news release.

From the news release:

“On Aug. 27, four days after a Ferry County livestock producer reported shooting at a collared adult wolf in self-defense, a WDFW wolf biologist and a county wildlife specialist located the animal – injured but mobile – in the Togo pack territory in northeast Washington. Radio signals and recent GPS locations from the collared wolf led biologists to the vicinity where they saw and identified the wounded animal as the adult black male from the Togo pack.

The wolf biologist got within approximately 20 yards of the injured wolf and saw that its left rear leg appeared to be broken below the knee. Within seconds, the wolf ran into a wooded area. A remote camera in the area showed that the adult female from the Togo pack had been nearby the night before.

Based on their experience with other animals, WDFW wolf managers believe the injured wolf has a good chance of surviving, and the department will continue to monitor its movements. If the wolf does not remain active, the department will consider whether it should be euthanized.

The department is also continuing its investigation into the shooting incident. Additional information appears in four earlier wolf updates on the Togo pack, all of which appear below.”