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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Umatilla County sheep attacked by wolves

Umatilla County sheep attacked by wolves

A wolf or wolves attacked sheep in a pen May 12 in Umatilla County, six miles from sheep killed by wolves May 2.

A private landowner in the Weston Mountain area found a dead adult ram in a small pen near his house. Three other male sheep in the pen showed signs of attack and were severely injured. One injured ram was euthanized that day as a result of its injuries.

Due to previous wolf depredation of sheep in the area wolves were suspected and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife examined the sheep.

On May 16, one of the two remaining injured sheep died as a result of injuries.

Fish and Wildlife has been tracking a single wolf in the general area only a few miles of this incident. On the morning of the investigation a set of wolf tracks was observed approximately 120 meters from the sheep pen.

This combination of information is evidence that at least one wolf was in the area at the time the sheep were killed, investigators said.

Two sheep were necropsied and found to have significant pre-mortem injuries associated with bite marks.

The large number of bites made measurement of individual bites difficult, but were clearly large carnivore bites, investigators said.

Bites were found on the hind end, flanks, over the back, sternum and neck. All bites caused massive sub-dermal hemorrhage and trauma to the underlying muscle tissues.

The extent of bite damage, and the size and location of bites on the sheep were nearly identical to the damage found on sheep killed by wolves May 2 in the area, investigators said.

A Fish and Wildlife game camera caught an image of a wolf last August in the area of the two sheep farms that have lost sheep to wolf attacks this spring.

Following this information, two sets of tracks were found near where the image was captured.

Fish and Wildlife is working to capture the wolf and fit it with a radio collar.

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