Wolverine caught on video, Oregon officials confirm fifth sighting
On Thursday, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed the sighting of the wolf — the fifth sighting in western Oregon that had been thought to be extinct in the decades since.
Video captured on April 6 shows a wolf crossing Highway 20 near Sisters, Oregon. Officials with ODFW’s Deschutes office confirmed wolf tracks were found near the site.
The last documented wolf in the Central Cascades region was trapped and killed near Broken Peak in 1969. Since then, the species has been listed as threatened in the state of Oregon, and no hunting or trapping of the animal is allowed.
The first recent sighting was on March 20 along the Columbia River near Portland, marking the first evidence of wolves outside the Wallowa Range in more than 30 years. In the days that followed, there were subsequent sightings in Damascus, Oregon City, and Colton.
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Although unconfirmed, all sightings may be the same animal. According to ODFW, young wolves are very mobile this time of year and can travel up to 30 miles a day.
Based on where it was last seen, officials say the animal may be moving to a new area where it can survive and reproduce. Adult wolves prefer high-altitude habitats with heavy snow, such as the area recently observed. However, young wolves often travel long distances before settling down.
ODFW is asking people to share wildlife reports with ODFW biologists on the iNaturalist app, which helps officials monitor wildlife in the state.
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