SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — All members of a wolf pack that had been preying in cattle in Washington state have been killed.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Friday that the four remaining members of the OPT wolf pack on Ferry County had been killed.
The wolf pack had been responsible for 29 depredation incidents on cattle since 2018, the agency says, with nine of those in the last 30 days. The livestock producer who owns the affected livestock took several proactive, nonlethal deterrence measures to reduce conflicts between wolves and the livestock.
Agency director Kelly Susewind authorized the deaths on July 31.
“I know this is an extremely difficult time for many of our communities around the state and having to carry out lethal removals of wolves is something we take very seriously,” said Susewind. “Hopefully we can pull from a diversity of perspectives, ideas, and approaches to find better solutions for coexistence.”
Environmental groups opposed the killings, which they contend benefit only one ranch operation in the Kettle River range.
The agency believes it has removed all members of the OPT pack, although another wolf was sighted in the area this spring. It may be from another pack.
There were 27 wolf packs in Washington by April.