Two wolf attacks reported in High Valley in late December

Jan. 4—UNION COUNTY — Wolves in the High Valley area of Union County made their violent presence felt at the end of December.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is reporting that "new" wolves in the Catherine Creek Wildlife Management Unit killed two calves on private land in separate attacks.

The first attack was investigated by the ODFW on Christmas Day and the second on Thursday, Dec. 29.

The attacks were the second and third in December in Union County, according to the ODFW's website. The first was investigated on Dec. 5. A cow was killed in the Pelican Creek area on public land. Pelican Creek is 8 miles west of La Grande and about a half mile from Hilgard Cemetery.

ODFW records also indicate there were confirmed wolf depredations in November in Union County. Both attacks were in the Frazier Mountain area on private land and were investigated on Nov. 22. A bull and a cow were killed in the two attacks by wolves identified as OR75 and OR86 by the ODFW.

Additional confirmed wolf attacks of domestic livestock reported in Northeastern Oregon in December and November include one in the Manning Creek area of Baker County on private land, which was investigated on Dec. 3. The attack, made by the Lookout Mountain Pack, left one cow dead.

Wallowa County had one confirmed attack in November, by the Chesnimnus Pack on private land on the Zumwalt Prairie. Two calves were killed and one was injured in the incident, which was investigated on Nov. 23.

Umatilla County had one confirmed attack on domestic livestock that involved the Ukiah Pack on private land near McKay Creek. Seven sheep were killed by the pack in the depredation, which was investigated on Nov. 21.

Michelle Dennehy, the ODFW's communications coordinator, said that when conducting an investigation, the agency's biologists closely examine the physical evidence on the dead animal and the scene to determine if the livestock was actually killed or injured by a predator and not scavenged by one after dying from another cause.

If the death or injury is found to be predator-caused, further examination is needed to determine if wolves rather than coyotes, cougars, bears, or domestic dogs were responsible, she said.

Most confirmed wolf attacks, Dennehy said, show bite scrapes made while the victim was alive and severe tissue trauma in specific locations on the animal.