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Wildlife officials confirm Rogue Pack wolves responsible for puppy death

Investigators believe that wolves killed a rancher's 16-week-old mastiff puppy in the Boundary Butte area last week.

Posted: Mar 20, 2019 2:18 PM
Updated: Mar 20, 2019 2:37 PM

BOUNDARY BUTTE, Ore. — Wolves from Southern Oregon's local pack are believed responsible for the death of a 16-week-old puppy on a rancher's land last week, according to the latest wolf depredation from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW).

On Friday morning, a livestock owner in the Boundary Butte area found one of his "mastiff-mix pups" dead near his home and reported it to ODFW. He said that he'd last seen the dog alive at midnight the same morning when his dogs began barking.

The rancher had gone outside to check on his dogs and turn on his "Air Dancer" wolf deterrent devices, ODFW said. But in the morning, he found the pup dead about 400 yards from his home, over in some industrial timber land next to his property.

When ODFW investigators arrived, they soon concluded that the pup's death was the result of a wolf attack.

CLICK HERE for more on the debate over gray wolves' federal protective status, which could soon be revoked.

"The scene around the carcass had multiple bloody spots, a short drag mark in the snow, and at least two sets of wolf tracks," the report said.

Due to the tracks, the severity and location of the wounds, and the "partial consumption" of the body, ODFW confirmed that the kill had been made by a wolf or multiple wolves — and due to the location of the property, the attack was attributed to the Rogue Pack.

Wolf attacks on livestock — whether confirmed or merely suspected — have become more and more common in Southern Oregon over the past year. Earlier this month, investigators determined that the deaths of 23 sheep in Curry County were "probable" wolf kills. The Rogue Pack, in particular, has been blamed for a number of livestock deaths between Jackson and Klamath counties.

Last year, ODFW reported 12 different wolf packs in the state, counting about 124 wolves in total.

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