Washington investigates wolf deaths

Wolves returned naturally to Washington state. Biologists counted over 200 wolves there at the end of 2021. Credit: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is investigating the deaths of four wolves found in Northeast Washington. Stevens County deputies reported finding the wolves near the Canadian border in February. “The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is aware of and actively investigating dead wolves found in Stevens County,” statewide wolf coordinator Julia Smith, a TWS member, told the Spokesman-Review in a statement.

The carcasses were found in an area that gray wolves (Canis lupus) have repopulated after the WDFW eliminated previous packs following livestock attacks. The Wedge Pack first established itself there in 2012, four years after wolves naturally returned to the state. Officials have reported several suspected poaching cases since the wolves arrived but arrests have been rare. WDFW and Native American Tribes counted 206 wolves in 33 packs in the state at the end of 2021.

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