Wolf shot, killed about 40 miles from Spokane in area with no documented packs


By Eli Francovich, The Spokesman-Review (WA)

Feb. 8, 2019


In an area where no documented packs roam, a rancher shot a wolf, Monday.


A ranch employee was checking on cattle in northeastern Adams County near the end of Sprague Lake, when the employee saw cattle running from three wolves. Sprague is about 40 miles southwest of Spokane.


The employee yelled at the wolves, at which point two them stopped and retreated. The third, an adult female, continued chasing the cattle, said Donny Martorello, the wolf policy lead for WDFW.


The employee then shot and killed the wolf. One of the owners of the ranch, who wished to remain anonymous, said the ranch hasn’t had problems with wolves in the past.


“The wolves are going to have to learn to live with us,” the owner said. “We’re going to do our best to get along with everything but we run a ranch. We have thousands of heads of cattle.”


The shooting has been deemed lawful by a preliminary investigation, according to Martorello. Although the Washington wolf plan does not allow private citizens to kill wolves, a subsequent WDFW commission rule allows for the killing of wolves caught in the act of attacking cattle, Martorello said.


“In areas of Washington where wolves are not listed under the federal Endangered Species Act, WAC 220-440-080 states the owner of domestic animals (or an immediate family member, agent, or employee) may kill one gray wolf without a permit issued by the WDFW director if the wolf is attacking their domestic animals,” according to a WDFW release.


The caught in the act rule has been used twice before...


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