The Sacramento Bee’s Ryan Sabalow wrote a fascinating piece on the disappearance of an historic pack of wolf pups that were born in California, the first such “native” wolves in since the early 20th century.
Here’s Sabalow with a little more on the mystery:
Three and a half years later, the Shasta Pack has vanished from Siskiyou County. All but one of the wolves disappeared within a few weeks of a standoff between ranchers and the pack and after the wolves were spotted feeding on a calf carcass. Just one pup is known to have survived; biologists say DNA tests show it left the state.
State wildlife officials were never able to place a tracking collar on a member of the pack before they vanished. No corpses were found.
That’s left a trail of questions. And wolf advocates say they are especially troubled by one of those questions in light of recent wolf news. Last month, state wildlife officers quietly opened a wolf poaching investigation following the death of an animal in neighboring Modoc County. If confirmed, it would be the first time someone killed a wolf in California since they were eradicated early last century.
Earlier this week, the state announced that gray wolves should remain protected by the California Endangered Species Act, but the state’s ranchers are sure to protest any protection for the predators.