For the first time in over a century, California officials confirmed the death of a state rancher’s livestock by wolf.
A heifer on a Lassen County ranch was attacked and killed by the Lassen Pack on Oct. 13, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed in a report.
Following an investigation of the 600-pound yearling carcass, Fish and Wildlife said that the “location and nature of the bite marks and the significant associated tissue hemorrhaging” were consistent with a wolf attack. The agency also identified wolf tracks and the evidence of a struggle near the decimated carcass, which was missing one leg, seven ribs and much of its neck.
In September Fish and Wildlife investigated four other possible wolf depredations – or kills – on the same Lassen County ranch. One kill was ruled a “possible” wolf depredation, while the other cows’ causes of death were unknown.
The ranch in question belongs to veteran rancher Wallace Roney, Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Jordan Traverso confirmed.