By Katy Nesbitt
For Wallowa Valley Online
GOLD BEACH, Ore – A lone wolf is suspected in the deaths of 22 spring lambs and a ewe on a Pistol River farm south of Gold Beach.
According to Michelle Dennehy, communications coordinator for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the attacks were reported in four separate incidences between Feb. 23 and Mar. 4.
The investigation did not confirm the attacks were by wolves, but were determined “probable” wolf predation.
Dennehy said, “It is not uncommon for wolves, cougars, bears, coyotes and domestic dogs to kill multiple sheep the same night.”
To get more information, Dennehy said wildlife managers put out cameras at the site of the investigation.
In an email from Dennehy Wednesday evening she wrote ifthe attacks were wolf-related, biologists believe they were by a single wolf and not an entire pack.
Neither U.S Fish and Wildlife Service nor state biologists are currently monitoring for wolves or aware of resident wolf activity in Curry County, Dennehy said, but in August tracks were investigated and “found consistent with a wolf” along the Pistol River – not far from where the sheep were attacked.
Dennehy said a trail camera photograph taken in Coos County, nearby the scene of a “possible/ unknown” sheep predation in October, is further evidence of suspected wolf activity along the southern Oregon coast.
“It was a blurry picture but could have been a wolf or dog,” Dennehy wrote in an email.
Anyone with wolf information is encouraged to report it online at odfw.com/wolves.