ODFW changes wolf investigation report from “other” to “confirmed”

By on Monday, May 16th, 2022 in More Top Stories Northeastern Oregon News

WALLOWA COUNTY – (Details from ODFW) The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has announced an addendum to a previous wolf investigation report.  The original report as well as the addendum can be found below. 

April 29, 2022 – Wallowa County C (Elk Mountain area) 

Date Investigated: 4/29/22 

Cause of death/injury: Other (2 sheep) Confirmed (3 sheep) 

General situation and animal information: On the morning of 4/29/22, a producer found the remains of three lambs (approximately 15 pounds each) in a 400-acre privately-owned grass pasture, then found the remains of two adult ewes later that afternoon. Most of the tissue was consumed from both ewes and one lamb, and all the tissue was consumed from two lambs. The carcasses were mostly intact with all legs and most ribs still attached. Two ewes and one lamb were estimated to have died approximately 24 hours prior to the investigation. Two lambs died approximately two days prior to the investigation. 

Physical evidence and summary of findings: All sheep carcasses were skinned and examined. There were bite punctures and pre-mortem hemorrhaging on all five sheep, indicating they had been attacked by a predator. All five sheep had pre-mortem hemorrhaging and tissue trauma on the throat at the rear of the lower jaw with bite puncture diameters from 1/16 to 3/16 inch. Both ewes and one lamb had bite wounds in other places; one ewe had tissue damage two inches deep behind the shoulder, while muscle trauma on the remainder of that ewe and the other ewe was up to 1/2 inch deep. The bite wound measurements, locations, and depth of trauma are consistent with coyote attacks on sheep, resulting in a determination of “Other”. 

Addendum (5/11/2022): A review of the investigation materials was requested by the producer on 5/4/2022. The review showed 4 of the 5 sheep (1 ewe and 3 lambs) had injuries and hemorrhage consistent with both coyote and wolf attack locations. One sheep (ewe) had premortem hemorrhage observed on the throat, right elbow, above the right shoulder, on the upper portion of the right ribcage, and on the left hind quarter. Hemorrhage on the right ribcage was previously reported to be two inches deep was corrected to document a depth measurement of no more than one inch deep. The hemorrhage on the throat, right elbow, and on the hind quarter are all common coyote and wolf bite locations. However, the premortem hemorrhage above the shoulder and on right ribcage are less common places for coyotes to bite adult sheep while attacking. Additionally, the sheep with the hemorrhage on the right shoulder and upper right ribcage was unsheared and had a thick wool covering which can be a barrier to effective biting by coyotes. The hemorrhage in the upper, wool covered locations was more likely caused by a wolf than a coyote. As a result, the determination of “Other” was amended to “Confirmed” wolf for the two ewes and one lamb killed the night before the investigation. The determination of “Other” is still appropriate for the two lambs killed approximately 48 hours before the investigation. The location of the 6 depredation event is outside the currently designated AKWA and could have been done by a dispersing wolf or wolves, or the Chesnimnus or Wildcat Packs.