BRIDGEPORT, Calif. (AP) — A young male wolf has been traveling near Yosemite National Park, the farthest south a wolf has been tracked in California in more than a century.
Researchers have been monitoring the wolf dubbed OR-93 via his tracking collar and said the animal departed Oregon earlier this year, likely in search of a new territory.
After trekking through Modoc County and crossing state highways 4 and 208, OR-93 recently moved into Mono County, just east of Yosemite. Officials say the animal is likely searching for a mate.
According to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, OR-93 is the 16th gray wolf documented to have traveled into California from another state, most of which have come from Oregon. Few have traveled beyond California's northernmost reaches.
OR-7, the progenitor of southern Oregon's Rogue Pack, visited California in late 2011. He was the first known wolf in the state since the 1920s. Since then, two packs have appeared in northern California. The Shasta Pack in Siskiyou County had five pups in 2015 before disappearing later that year. The Lassen Pack has produced pups every year since 2017.
"Additionally, a new pair of wolves has recently been documented in Siskiyou County and CDFW biologists believe it is likely they will produce pups this spring," the agency said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.