Alpha male wolf In Wedge Pack killed, ending state hunt

Sep 28, 2012
Originally published on September 27, 2012 5:11 pm

Washington wildlife managers say the hunt for a pack of grey wolves is over. A state marksman killed the alpha male of the pack Thursday in far northeast Washington. The department has killed a total of seven wolves from the Wedge Pack since August.

Wildlife managers believe the pack was responsible for killing or injuring at least 17 calves and cows in far northeastern Washington. Washington Fish and Wildlife Director Phil Anderson says the pack became dependent on livestock and would continue to attack them. But he says that didn’t make the decision any easier.

“We’re in the business of protecting wildlife, not killing wildlife. And making a decision to take out a pack of animals that we’re trying to recover was very difficult for me professionally and personally to do.”

Teams from the department tracked the wolves based on the location of the alpha male, which had previously been radio-collared. A marksman in the door of a low-flying helicopter shot the animals.

Anderson says they don’t know if they killed every wolf in the pack, but they took out enough to disband the group.

He says the wolf carcasses have been transported to Spokane and will likely be donated to a university for educational purposes.

On the Web:

Washington state's Wedge Pack

WDFW press release

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