BAKER CITY, Ore. (AP) — Employees from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife shot and killed three more wolves from the Lookout Mountain pack on Wednesday, officials said.
Two 6-month-olds and one yearling were shot from a helicopter in eastern Oregon, The Baker City Herald reported.
The agency says it has now killed eight wolves from the pack, which has killed at least seven head of cattle and injured three others in eastern Baker County since mid-July. The collared breeding female and up to two juvenile wolves remain, officials said.
The agency doesn't plan to kill more wolves, according to a news release, and local ranchers are no longer authorized to kill wolves.
“We’ve seen good results from incremental removal in the past, when removing a few members of the pack reduced or even stopped further depredations,” Roblyn Brown, ODFW wolf coordinator, said. “It’s disappointing that was not the case this time.”
Fish and Wildlife employees killed two of the pack's wolf pups on Aug. 1, and three more wolves, including the pack’s breeding male, on Sept. 17.
There were no confirmed attacks by the pack on cattle for nearly a month, until Oct. 16, when biologists determined that wolves had killed a calf, likely on Oct. 14.
The Center for Biological Diversity in a news release disputed that livestock owners had in all recent instances removed sick or injured animals in a timely manner so as not to draw in predators.
“Oregon is home to only 173 confirmed wolves, yet the lethal measures the Department of Fish and Wildlife chose as its response to conflicts with livestock have destroyed nearly 5% of the state’s wolf population,” the Center's senior wolf advocate Amaroq Weiss said. “These rare conflicts should be addressed through better livestock husbandry practices, not killing wolves.”