Oregon wolf managers are reporting a “probable depredation” within miles of the Pacific Ocean.
They say that over a two week period between late February and earlier this week, the carcasses of 23 sheep — nearly all lambs — were found by a producer and USDA Wildlife Services in a “partially fenced” private pasture in Curry County’s White Mountain area, which by the gazetteer is just east of Denmark and Langlois along a lonely stretch of Highway 101 by Cape Blanco.
Examinations of several carcasses “were consistent with a wolf attack, but lack diagnostic evidence to clearly differentiate between wolf and domestic dog,” leading to the probable determination.
If a wolf, it is likely to be a disperser.
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The incident occurred in that part of Oregon where wolves still are federally listed and thus where the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the lead agency.
Neither federal nor state managers are currently monitoring any known wolves in Curry County, though tracks on the Pistol River, to the south between Gold Beach and Brookings, were investigated last year and were determined to be “consistent with a wolf” by an ODFW biologist.
A trail cam photo from last fall taken near a “possible/unknown” sheep depredation nearby in Coos County, to the north, captured a “blurry” picture of an animal “that could have been a wolf or dog.”
Cameras have been set up near the site of the attack on the White Mountain flock to see if anything returns.
The public can report wolves in Oregon on this ODFW webpage.
The news comes as today USFWS announced it proposed to delist gray wolves in the western two-thirds of Oregon and Washington as well as elsewhere in the Lower 48.