EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above is about a different story where Washington lawmakers looked to find non-lethal methods of curbing wolf issues in Eastern Washington.
ASOTIN CO., Wash.-- The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Friday that an investigation into the death of a calf in Asotin County indicated a wolf was responsible for the calf’s death.
WDFW discovered a dead 400 to 450 lbs. calf in a 160-acre fenced pasture while working on the agency’s Ranch Wildlife Area July 8, according to the report posted on WDFW’s website. Conflict staff contacted the livestock producer, who has authorization to graze livestock on the land through a lease with WDFW and conducted an investigation on site.
WDFW staff’s investigation of the calf’s carcass revealed hemorrhaging and tissue damage on the calf’s left side, including the chest and lower neck area, front and back of the front leg, lower portion of the rear leg and tooth punctures and scrapes on the inside of the lower leg and groin, according to the WDFW report. WDFW also documented hemorrhaging and tissue damage on the calf’s right side, including the chest and lower neck area, rear side of the front leg continuing into surrounding tissue behind the leg, the area in front of the rear leg and the lower half of the rear leg, according to the report.
The report says most of the calf’s hindquarter had been consumer. WDFW removed the carcass and buried it after the investigation.
WDFW’s report says the damage to the carcass was indicative of a “wolf depredation,” the term used when a wolf kills a domestic animal. Location data from the collared wolf in the Grouse Flats pack also showed at least one member of the pack in the vicinity during the approximate time the calf died, according to the report.
Based on the combination of tissue damage with associated hemorrhaging and wolf locations, WDFW staff classified the even as a confirmed wolf depredation, the report said.
The producer who owned the calf monitors the her by range riding at least every other day, the report said. The producer maintains regular human presence in the area, removes or secures livestock carcasses to avoid attracting wolves and avoids areas known for high wolf activity, according to the report.
The producer deployed Fox lights in the grazing area following the attack and will increase the frequency of range riding until cattle can be moved to a different pasture, the report said.
The Grouse Flats pack was involved in three depredation incidents in 2018, according to WDFW.