10 investigations, two confirmed wolf depredation in May

BAKER COUNTY – 10 incidents were investigated by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife regarding wolf depredations in the area for May.  Those reports are available below.

(Investigation reports from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife)

May 31, 2021 – Baker County (Goose Creek area)

Date Investigated: 5/31/21                                  Cause of death/injury: Confirmed

General situation and animal information: On the morning of 5/31/21 a rider, while checking cattle, found a dead 4-month-old calf that had been drug under a fence. The calf was about twelve feet outside the fence of the 400-acre private rangeland pasture where it died. The calf carcass was intact and had not been scavenged. The calf was estimated to have died 24-36 hours before the investigation.

Physical evidence and summary of findings: The calf carcass was skinned and examined. The calf had pre-mortem tooth scrapes up to approximately 3/16 inch wide with associated muscle tissue bruising under the hide on the rear of both back legs above the hock, the groin and behind the front right elbow. Associated underlying muscle trauma extended at least 1 1/2 inches deep. The location, size, number, and direction of tooth scrapes and severe underlying muscle tissue trauma are consistent with wolf attack injuries on calves. The depredation is attributed to the Keating Pack.

May 22, 2021 – Baker County (Goose Creek area)

Date Investigated: 5/22/21                                  Cause of death/injury: Possible/Unknown

General situation and animal information: A livestock producer found a dead two-week-old 100-pound calf the morning of 5/22/21 in a private 8-acre irrigated grass pasture. The carcass was mostly consumed with only the front left leg, spinal column, neck and head remaining. It was estimated the calf died the night of 5/21/21.

Physical evidence and summary of findings: There was no chase or struggle scene found. The remains of the calf was skinned and examined. There were no postmortem bite marks, hemorrhage, or muscle tissue trauma found on the calf. Due to the lack of hide and muscle tissue on the carcass, the determination is possible/unknown.

May 10, 2021 – Grant County (Fox Valley area)

Date Investigated: 5/10/21                                  Cause of death/injury: Possible/Unknown

General situation and animal information: A livestock producer discovered a dead approximately 400-pound yearling cow on the morning of 5/10/21 in a 400-acre pasture on private land. The skeleton was intact except the right hind leg was removed. Most of the hide and tissues were scavenged or decomposed. The shoulder and neck had some remaining tissue. The date of death was estimated around 5/5/21.

Physical evidence and summary of findings: The remains of the carcass were skinned and examined. There were no pre-mortem bite marks or tissue hemorrhage to indicate the calf was attached by a predator. No evidence was found to suggest the death was wolf-related, but due to the lack of hide and tissue the determination is possible/unknown.

May 8, 2021 – Grant County A (Fox Valley area)

Date Investigated: 5/8/21                                    Cause of death/injury: Confirmed

General situation and animal information: On the morning of 5/8/21, a livestock owner found a dead, approximately 400-pound yearling heifer in an 800-acre rangeland pasture on private land. The carcass was intact and had injuries on the hind legs and left front shoulder. The yearling had died during the early morning of 5/8/21.

Physical evidence and summary of findings: The carcass was partially shaved and skinned. There were bite punctures and multiple tooth scrapes associated with pre-mortem hemorrhage on the carcass indicating it had been attacked by a predator. Multiple bite marks and severe muscle trauma was present on the upper thighs of both hind legs, groin, and left elbow. Tooth scrapes were up to 1/4 inch wide and 2 1/2 inches long; associated underlying muscle trauma extended 1 inch deep. The location of injuries and severity of trauma was similar to other confirmed wolf attack injuries on cattle. The location of the attack was within the Northside Wolves AKWA.

May 8, 2021 – Grant County B (Fox Valley area)

Date Investigated: 5/8/21                                       Cause of death/injury: Possible/Unknown

General situation and animal information: On the morning of 5/8/21, while investigating a dead yearling (report May 8, 2021 Grant County – A), the livestock producer found the remains of a 300-pound yearling steer in the same 800-acre private-land pasture. The carcass was intact with all tissue on the left hind leg above the hock consumed and 70% of tissue on the right hind leg above the hock consumed. All tissue behind the ribs to pelvis was consumed. The majority of the hide was missing from the back half of the yearling. The date of death was estimated to be between 5/2/21 and 5/4/21.

Physical evidence and summary of findings: There was no evidence of predator attack on the carcass or the scene. The remaining carcass was partially skinned and shaved. No pre-mortem bite marks were found on the hide. No evidence was found to suggest the death was wolf-related, but due to the lack of hide and tissue the determination is possible/unknown.

May 8, 2021 – Grant County C (Fox Valley area)

Date Investigated: 5/8/21                                       Cause of death/injury: Other

General situation and animal information: On the morning of 5/8/21, while investigating two dead yearlings (reports May 8, 2021 Grant County – A, B), the livestock producer requested that ODFW examine the remains of a 400-pound yearling steer that had been found dead on 5/6/21 in the same pasture. The carcass was intact with most tissue behind the ribs consumed. The majority of the hide was still present. The date of the death was estimated to be between 5/4/21 and 5/5/21.

Physical evidence and summary of findings: There was no evidence of predator attack on the carcass or the scene. The remaining carcass was partially skinned and shaved. No pre-mortem bite marks were found on the hide. No evidence was found to suggest the death was predator related. The cause of death is unknown, but was not wolf-related.

May 8, 2021 – Grant County D (Fox Valley area)

Date Investigated: 5/8/21                                       Cause of death/injury: Probable

General situation and animal information: On the morning of 5/8/21, while investigating three dead yearlings (reports May 8, 2021 Grant County – A, B, C), the livestock producer requested that ODFW look at an approximately 400-pound yearling steer that was sick in the same pasture. Upon reaching the area that the yearling was last observed the same morning it was found to have died. A gross examination revealed that the yearling was missing its entire tail and had a 9-inch horizontal gash through its hide and deep into the right flank. The carcass was completely intact.  The date of death was 5/8/21.

Physical evidence and summary of findings: The carcass was partially skinned and shaved. The 9-inch gash was estimated to have happened at least three days prior to death based on fly larval stages. There was no pre-mortem hemorrhage around the wound. The left hind leg had pre-mortem hemorrhage, extending 1/2 inch into the muscle, but had no associated tooth scrapes on the hide. The right hind leg showed signs of significant infection, and shallow pre-mortem hemorrhage and hemorrhaging between muscle tissues but had no associated tooth scrapes in the hide. The hide around the groin area had multiple 1/16 to 3/16 inch pre-mortem puncture marks and different angled scrapes. Two 1/4 inch pre- mortem puncture marks were also present. There was pre-mortem hemorrhage around the right front elbow that extended 1 inch into the tissue with one 1/4 inch wide mark and one 1/8 inch wide tooth scrape found on the hide. There was sign of infection, as well as pre-mortem hemorrhage around the left front elbow that extended 1/4 inch into the tissue. The location of trauma to the hind legs and elbows are consistent with previous confirmed wolf attacks on cattle; however, the severity and size of the trauma and lack of large tooth punctures and bite scrape marks are not. The scrape marks and associated trauma to the front right elbow indicate a predator attack but lack evidence to conclude wolf. That combined with a confirmed wolf depredation in the same pasture on 5/8/21, the determination is probable.

May 7, 2021 – Wallowa County (Leap area)

Date Investigated: 5/7/21                                       Cause of death/injury: Other

General situation and animal information: On the morning of 5/7/21, a producer found the remains of a 2-3 month old, approximately 190-pound calf in a 240-acre private rangeland pasture. The calf was mostly intact with only a small portion around the anus and thighs consumed. It was estimated the calf died two days prior to the investigation.

Physical evidence and summary of findings: The area was searched for a chase or kill scene and none was found. The entire carcass was shaved, skinned, and examined. There were no pre-mortem marks on the hide and no hemorrhaging or trauma in the underlying tissues, indicating that the animal was not killed by a predator. The cause of death of the calf is unknown but was not wolf related.

May 4, 2021 – Baker County (Goose Creek area)

Date Investigated: 5/4/21                                       Cause of death/injury: Other

General situation and animal information: On the morning of 5/4/21, a livestock producer found a dead 3-month-old 250-pound calf on a 2000-acre private rangeland pasture. The carcass was intact, with portions of hide and tissue around the groin scavenged. The calf was estimated to have died the evening of 5/3/21.

Physical evidence and summary of findings: The entire calf carcass was skinned and examined. There were bite punctures and pre-mortem hemorrhage on the calf indicating it had been attacked by a predator. Pre-mortem claw scrapes were present on the right and left side of the calf behind the ribcage, as well as multiple pre-mortem bite marks to the top of the neck. The punctures to the neck measured approximately 1/8 inch by ¼ inch on the hide with underlying tissue damage that measured 2 inches

deep. The calf’s death was not wolf related. The claw scrapes, bite punctures, trauma severity, and location of injuries was consistent with bear attacks on calves.

May 3, 2021 – Baker County (Alder Creek area)

Date Investigated: 5/3/21                                       Cause of death/injury: Possible/Unknown

General situation and animal information: A livestock producer found a dead 3–month-old 200-pound calf the morning of 5/3/21 in a private 680-acre rangeland pasture. The carcass was intact with most muscle tissue on the hindquarters above the hocks consumed, as well as the intestines. The hide was missing from the abdomen and portions of the rear legs.  It was estimated the calf died on 5/2/21.

Physical evidence and summary of findings: There was no chase or struggle scene found at the location of the calf. The entire calf carcass was skinned and examined. There were no pre-mortem bite scrapes on the hide or bite-caused hemorrhage or muscle tissue trauma indicating a predator attack. No evidence was found to suggest the death was wolf related. Due to the lack of hide and muscle tissue on the hindquarters, the determination is possible/unknown.