The only wolf in California hit by a car

Ein Auto has ruined the hope of California conservationists to reintroduce the wolf to the south of the Pacific state. The first animal sighted in the area in more than a hundred years came under the wheels north of Los Angeles a few days ago.

OR-93, as the two-year-old wolf was called, had left its pack in the neighboring state of Oregon in the summer of 2020 and moved south. As biologists tracked with the help of a GPS tracker in the collar, the animal passed through the agricultural cultivation areas near Fresno before heading west to the Central Coast. At the beginning of April the last signal from the wolf came in. At the time, he was in the San Luis Obispo district about 300 kilometers north of Los Angeles. The California Fish and Game Authority attributed the radio silence to a defect in the collar or weak batteries. Footage from wildlife cameras and paw prints appeared to confirm that OR-93 was still alive.

The US Forest Service approved the “gray wolf” (Canis lupus) for shooting at the beginning of the 20th century to protect herds of cattle. In the decades that followed, the population in the states south of Alaska shrank to a few hundred wolves. The last California wolf was shot in 1924. Against the resistance of the cattle breeders, however, American conservationists have been campaigning for the spread of the human-shy species again for decades. It is estimated that around 6,000 wolves are now living south of Alaska again, a few dozen of them in the forests of Northern California.

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