Pack of rare wolves miss­ing in Cal­i­for­nia

Austin American-Statesman - - MORE OF TODAY’S TOP NEWS -

In Au­gust 2015, the Cal­i­for­nia De­part­ment of Fish and Wildlife made a land­mark an­nounce­ment: Trail cam­eras in north­ern Cal­i­for­nia had cap­tured im­ages of a pack of gray wolves. It in­cluded two adults and five lop­ing pups, all with un­usual black coats.

They were the first pack to set­tle in the state in al­most a cen­tury. Gray wolves were once com­mon in Cal­i­for­nia, but by 1924 their pop­u­la­tion had been ex­ter­mi­nated.

“This news is ex­cit­ing for Cal­i­for­nia,” de­part­ment di­rec­tor Charl­ton H. Bon­ham said with the an­nounce­ment. “We knew wolves would even­tu­ally re­turn home to the state, and it ap­pears now is the time.” Then the pack van­ished. State bi­ol­o­gists have not spot­ted the wolves, which were dubbed the “Shasta Pack” due to their pres­ence in the county home to Mount Shasta, since last May, the San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle re­ported last week.

Wolf packs typ­i­cally stick to their ter­ri­tory. Then again, a lack of other wolves nearby could mean the fam­ily felt free to roam more widely.

Figura said of­fi­cials have no ev­i­dence the wolf fam­ily has been killed.

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