Facebook reminded me of a post from five years ago today. It was a Medford Mail Tribune article by Mark Freeman about a young male wolf that had just entered northeastern Douglas county, the first wolf in western Oregon in 65 years.
A few months later, the first photo (above) of this wolf, known as OR-7, was shared around the world. Around this time, Oregon Wild sponsored a naming contest and the wandering wolf became affectionately known as Journey. He entered California right around Christmas of 2011, and the rest is history.
I am still so impressed with the tenacity of OR-7. He traveled over 4,000 air miles in his efforts to find a mate and a new home. He led the way for other wolves in their dispersal into southern Oregon and northern California. Journey has truly been an ambassador for his species. The recent livestock depredations that may be attributed to his pack are certainly cause for concern, but they do not erase the value of this wolf and all he has done. With all the issues and controversy in the world today, it feels right to acknowledge the successes that abound, and the story of Journey is one of them.
(click below to read entire article)
By MARK FREEMAN
A young wolf migrating out of a northeast Oregon pack this fall has reached northeastern Douglas County, becoming the first confirmed wolf in Western Oregon in 65 years.
The 2-year-old male, labeled OR-7, has a transmitter collar on it that showed it crossed Highway 97 and moved across the Cascade crest and into the Umpqua River drainage, where he was last located late Thursday, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The animal set out from his original Imnaha Pack of Wallowa County on Sept. 10, wandering southwest as far as Lake County last week before turning due west and crossing the Cascades, said Russ Morgan, the ODFW’s wolf program coordinator.
“It’s the first one in modern times to go in that direction, and he’s really traveling,” Morgan said. “He could turn around and go back. He could go to California or Idaho. There’s no way to predict it.”
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