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10/31/2017 - First Confirmed Kill By Wolves in Lassen County
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(AP)- California has had its first confirmed livestock kill by wolves since the gray wolf returned to the state in 2011.
According to officials with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, on October 13 the Lassen Pack of wolves killed a cow on private property in western Lassen County.
Data from a GPS tracking device worn by the breeding female of the Lassen Pack confirms the wolf was present at the site for at least six hours on the night the 600-pound yearling heifer was killed.
According to the CDFW report, Wolf tracks were observed within the area, including kick marks and disturbed ground consistent with a struggle.
Frustratingly, current California law provides ranchers and CDFW very few tools for deterring and managing wolves, California Cattlemens Association President Dave Daley said. Under current law, we have extremely limited options for protecting our livestock.
Its important for Californians to understand the full implications of the wolfs return, California Farm Bureau Federation President Paul Wenger said. CDFW has been more than willing to notify the public when it identifies a new pack or when wolves have pups. People need to recognize wolves not as cute woodland creatures but as predators that kill.
Although the Oct. 13 incident marked the first confirmed livestock kill by a wolf, suspected kills occurred on four other occasions between Sept. 19 and Sept. 30, each reported by the same Lassen County rancher whose cow suffered the confirmed kill this month.
CDFW did not confirm any of those incidents, but GPS data and eyewitness reports place the Lassen Pack near the cattle at the time.
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