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California Has First Gray Wolf in 88 Years

One crossed the border from Oregon this week
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 30, 2011 6:33 PM CST
California Has First Gray Wolf in 88 Years
File photo: This undated image provided by the US Fish and Wildlife Service shows a gray wolf resting in tall grass.   (AP Photo/US Fish & Wildlife, File)

(Newser) – A lone gray wolf is wandering around the forests of California's Siskiyou County, and that's a milestone for wildlife experts. The 2-year-old male is the first gray wolf in the state since 1924, reports the Los Angeles Times. He crossed the border from Oregon Wednesday afternoon, according to biologists tracking his movements via GPS. This particular wolf, known as OR7, may head back to Oregon eventually, but it's likely just a matter of time now before a pack establishes itself in California.

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Ranchers won't be thrilled at the prospect of the return of a predator that got ran off decades ago, notes the San Jose Mercury News. "Whether one is for it or against it, the entry of this lone wolf into California is a historic event and result of much work by the wildlife agencies in the West," says a state fish and game official. "If the gray wolf does establish a population in California, there will be much more work to do here." (Read more gray wolf stories.)

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