Wolves Suspected in Whitman County Sheep Death

Dec 18, 2014

Washington State Fish and Wildlife officials say they believe a wolf or wolves are responsible for the death of 3 sheep in Whitman county. The killings happened north of the Town of Lamont near the Whitman/Lincoln county line. This marks the first time wolf attacks have occurred in this region in decades.

File photo of gray wolf.
Credit Flickr user USFWS: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwshq/sets/72157644568160740/

Madonna Luers is a spokeswoman for Fish and Wildlife, who says the agency has not yet confirmed if there is an actual pack in the area.

Luers: “All we can determine is that this is an individual wolf, not a pack, we have no signs of a pack, and an individual wolf could take down a sheep, where with bigger animals like cattle horses, so on , it takes a pack.”

Luers says the Palouse terrain is not the normal wolf habitat because of a lack trees and cover, but it’s possible the wolves may have come in from Idaho.

She says if it’s determined that a pack is in that area, her agency will try to tap and radio collar pack members. But she says there would be no action taken to kill any, as they are listed as a state endangered species. In this case ,the sheep had managed to get out from an electric fence when they were attacked.

Luers says wildlife conflict specialists have been working with the rancher and others in the area to advise them of non-lethal deterrents to prevent future wolf attacks.