NORTHERN CALIFORNIA – A gray wolf that crossed the Oregon border into California late last year has traveled farther down the state, arriving in Butte County.
Known as OR7, the 3-year-old wolf was first tracked by satellite in Butte County on June 28, according to an update from the California Department of Fish and Game.
The agency said it intentionally delays updating maps on OR7’s movements to protect his current location.
A Monday update said the wolf was in northeastern Butte County.
OR7 was born in spring 2009 in northeastern Oregon, the Department of Fish and Game reported.
He grew up as part of the state’s Imnaha pack, which was first documented the year he was born in the Imnaha River drainage, east of the communities of Enterprise and Joseph in Wallowa County. Officials reported that the pack’s founding members migrated to Oregon from Idaho.
OR7 was collared with a radio transmitter by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) in February 2011, about nine months before officials said he dispersed from the Imnaha pack.
He headed south, traveling hundreds of miles and crossing Interstate 84 and several highways before passing into California near Dorris in Siskiyou County on Dec. 28, according to the California and Oregon wildlife agencies.
His appearance in California is the first of any wild wolf since 1924. That year, the last gray wolf was killed in Lassen County, the state reported.
Since then, tracking has shown he’s traveled an average of 15 miles a day through a variety of habitats and predominantly on public lands.
He was spotted in May in Modoc County by state and federal wildlife officials.
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