The Buzz: Here's advice for OR-7 -- 'Stay out of Idaho'

05/04/2013 12:00 AM

05/04/2013 12:30 AM

Another sibling of gray wolf OR-7 perishes in Idaho

California's lone wolf is getting lonelier.

OR-7 is already a solitary figure. A gray wolf, he constituted California's entire wild lupine population when he wandered across the Oregon border in 2011. He has since made his way back to Oregon but faces a diminished pack. A sister named OR-5 who also departed their home won't be making the return journey.

She died March 30 after being snared by a steel foothold trap in Idaho, one of the states along the northern Rockies where wolves are no longer shielded by the federal Endangered Species Act.

"I was sick about that," said Jennifer Fearing, California director for the Humane Society. "I wish we could put up a big, giant 'stay out of Idaho' sign that wolves could understand."

It's not the first sibling OR-7 has lost. His brother OR-9 was shot in 2012, also in Idaho. Both the trap that caught OR-5 and the shot that felled OR-9 are banned in California, where wolves enjoy more robust protections.

Federal authorities have proposed removing endangered species protections for most gray wolves in the Lower 48 states, but wolves that roam into California would still be protected by a tentative listing under the state's Endangered Species Act.

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