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Fri, Aug 15

The Wolf’s Controversial Return To California

In 2011, a male gray wolf called OR-7 left his pack in Oregon and traversed over 1,200 miles. While this sort of travel isn’t atypical for gray wolves, the terrain that OR-7 covered set him apart from the pack; he became the first confirmed wolf in California in almost a century, making him an apple of the public eye.

Since OR-7 broke away from his group — the Imnaha pack in northeast Oregon — his life looks different. OR-7 traveled a small way back North and found a mate in the Cascades of southern Oregon. The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has confirmed that the pair produced at least three pups, although there may be more.

But OR-7’s notable route to fatherhood has reawakened a debate in California that is almost as old as the state itself: how to manage the gray wolf. With OR-7’s wolf family knocking at California’s door, the state must make a plan for how to manage a species that inspires an entire range of emotions within California’s population.

Read more from Alexandra Ossola at Popular Science.