The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife determined that a wolf attack killed a llama in the Five Points Creek area in late January.

The llama may have been the third one killed by wolves in the same area, about six miles west of La Grande, since early November.

The llama killed by wolves in late January was found around noon on Jan. 30 in a large fenced forested pasture about 300 yards from the landowner’s residence according to an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife report. The owner suspected wolf depredation and notified the ODFW.

ODFW biologist Leonard Erickson, a Union County Sheriff’s deputy and an agent with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s wildlife services division, conducted the investigation.

The investigators determined that a major portion of the llama carcass had been eaten. Only the neck, head and most of the hindquarters and hide remained. The llama, a 250-pound nine-year-old female, was killed either the evening of Jan. 29 or the morning of Jan. 30.

“We know that it was alive and healthy at 4 p.m. (Jan. 29),” Erickson said.

Bite marks were found on the head, throat, right shoulder and both hind legs, indicating that the llama was attacked by a predator, according to Erickson. Further evidence of a predator attack was found in the form of fresh running llama tracks that led downhill to a road where the llama died.

See complete story in Wednesday's Observer