It’s not very often that a wild wolf captures the heart of Americans, but OR-7 is an exception. After being fitted for a tracking collar by a state biologist, OR-7 has traveled more than 730 miles, taking him from Oregon to California. It’s an extraordinary feat, but trouble lies ahead for this wolf’s family.
According to reports, Oregon wildlife officials have issued a death warrant on OR-7’s father, the alpha male of the pack, and a younger sibling for killing cattle. Government hunters have taken shots at the wolves, but have so far missed. Meanwhile, three conservation organizations, Cascadia Wildlands, Oregon Wild, and the Center for Biological Diversity have filed a lawsuit to stop the killings. In the past, wolves have been a danger to the agricultural community in Oregon, which has led them to be exterminated.
But has it gone too far?
The Center for Biological Diversity believes it has. Reports show that there are 1.3 million cattle in Oregon, but there are only 23 wolves in the entire state. Oregon cattle are more likely to be lost from weather conditions, disease, and human theft than by wolves.
While activists are on a quest to save the lives of these animals, OR-7 seems to be on a quest of his own. Wildlife experts say that OR-7 is searching for his own territory. With any luck, he’ll find his own mate and breed. Reports show that OR-7’s parents, the Alpha male and female, were Oregon’s first breeding pair of wolves in over 65 years.
To further raise awareness, Oregon Wild has started a competition for children and teens to rename the wolf or create a drawing of his travels. The submission date is December 16th by 5 pm. And the winner of either category could win a year membership to Oregon Wild, a book of wildlife photography, and a free pair of hiking shoes. For more information, check out their website: oregonwild.org.