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Wolf visits Mount Hood
A wandering wolf has at least dropped by for a visit to Mount Hood, another sign of the species' population recovery.
Wolf tracks were found on Mount Hood’s eastern slope in December, the first sign of the species’ presence in the Cascades since the famous male known as OR-7 roamed through Oregon in 2011.
“This is history,” said Rob Klavins, wildlife advocate for Oregon Wild, an environmental group. “You have the opportunity for people in the Cascades hiking around Mount Hood to hear the howl of a wolf.”
The discovery – noted by a member of the public and confirmed by an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist – comes as the state’s wolf population continues to increase. Oregon in 2013 had 64 wolves and eight packs around the state, up from 48 a year earlier, according to a new ODFW report.
ODFW doesn’t have evidence that the Mount Hood wolf is a resident or is still around, spokeswoman Michelle Dennehy said. The wolf could’ve been traveling, dispersing or already returned to northeast Oregon, she said.
Most wolves live in the state’s northeast corner, in Baker, Umatilla, Union and Wallowa counties. But OR-7, the first wolf to return to California in decades, continues to live in southwestern Oregon. He returned to Oregon in March 2013, and spent most of the year within a 155-square-mile area in western Klamath County and eastern Jackson County.