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A wolf pack that acquired a taste for cattle in northern Stevens County this summer is being targeted for elimination, Washington officials announced Friday. “The Wedge Pack has turned to cattle as their primary prey,” said Steve Pozzanghera, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife eastern region manager. “We have no other alternative at this point,” he said, explaining the decision to escalate efforts from culling a few wolves to killing the entire pack.
State wildlife officers responded Thursday to the latest in a monthlong series of wolf attacks on cattle in northern Stevens County. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is considering more lethal action and possibly breaking up the Wedge Pack near the Canada border.
A calf injured in a wolf attack in northern Stevens County – the fourth wounded or killed in one cattle herd in four weeks – has left the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department contemplating a response, including killing one or more wolves in the Wedge Pack. “All options are on the table,” Madonna Luers, the agency’s spokeswoman in Spokane, said Monday.
Washington is no longer on the sidelines watching Idaho and Montana cope with the explosive revival of a formerly extirpated predator. Gray wolves are commanding more attention from courtrooms to cattle ranches as they filter in and set up housekeeping in the Evergreen State.
A wolf pack with a dozen members has been spotted in northern Pend Oreille County, a state wildlife biologist confirmed. The pack, one of three confirmed in Washington state, consists of two adults, four yearlings and six pups. Though the pack is large now, it’s unlikely that it will keep all of its members through the winter, said Jay Shepherd, assistant district biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in Colville.