Wolf walks 3 000km lookin' for love

2012-04-06 19:50

Sacramento - A male wolf that made headlines by becoming the first of its species in more than 80 years to be found in the wild in California has crossed back into the Golden State on its determined quest for a mate.

The grey wolf, designated OR7 by wildlife managers, has travelled more than 3 219km since leaving its pack in northeastern Oregon last September and heading south, paying its first visit to California in late December.

The animal, which wandered back to Oregon in early March, returned to California last Friday and was still roaming a forested area in northern Siskiyou County on Thursday, said Karen Kovacs, wildlife programme manager with the California Department of Fish and Game.

Young male wolves like OR7, which will turn 3 in mid-April, must leave the home range of their parents to find a female companion and reproduce because only the dominant pair in each wolf pack form a mating bond.

"What happens is they leave looking for love. And when they don't find it, they keep walking - because the love of their life is just over that hill," said Ed Bangs, a wolf expert who spearheaded the US Fish and Wildlife Service's reintroduction of wolves to the lower 48 states in the 1990s. "He won't stop doing that until he dies. Or he finds the love of his life."

First wild wolf

OR7, fitted with a tracking collar, gained worldwide attention after entering California on 28 December, making it the state's first wild wolf since the last one was trapped and killed in 1924 in Lassen County.

The newcomer loped along the crest of the Cascade Mountains, crossed highways and rivers, including the Deschutes and Klamath, and travelled to within 24km of the Nevada border on its journey.

OR7 spent about two months in northern California before heading back to its home state in early March. The grey wolf is listed as an endangered species in the Pacific Northwest, making it protected under federal law.

Steve Pedery, conservation director of the environmental group Oregon Wild, said there are at last 29 wolves inhabiting Oregon.

California wildlife officials were surprised to learn the wolf had returned.

Most wolves travel less than 161km in search of new territory and mates.

About a dozen grey wolves are known to have travelled distances of 290km or more since the species was reintroduced in the continental United States. One female wolf was documented to have roamed 4 828km from Wyoming and back again, Bangs said.

OR7 presumably has picked the wrong direction by heading into California, where no others of his kind are known to exist in the wild.

"He doesn't know there's nobody south of him," Bangs said.

Read more on:    us  |  animals
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
11 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Five wrapping hacks you have to know before Christmas

Five gift wrapping hacks that will save Christmas for you!

 
 

I love summer.24

Sexiest Instagrams of 2014
Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!
Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Area Manager - Retail

Western Cape
Evolve Personnel
R20 000 - R25 000 Per Month

upply Chain Manager

Western Cape
ZIMCO Group (PTY) Ltd
R30 000 - R40 000 Per Month

Restaurant Manager

Western Cape
SET Recruitment Consultants
R20 000 - R30 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The energy today is serious, materialistic and hardworking. You may find you get a new outlook on things and you may want to spend...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.