Pacific Swell | Southern California environment news and trends

California’s lone gray wolf: just visiting

Ingo Wagner/AFP/Getty Images

And then there were none.

After much exaltation, celebration and even some classic rock inspiration, California’s lone gray wolf has decided to turn tail and return to Oregon. Not that the wolf called Journey (AKA OR7) didn’t have a good reason. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the poor guy just couldn’t find a mate.

The animal has been tracked via radio collar for the past two months, and has wandered the Siskiyou, Shasta and Lassen counties, “likely searching for a mate to start his own pack.” When his search turned up empty, he began the lonely march back to his home state.

The animal’s lack of success was not for lack of trying. As reported by the L.A. Times, the wolf has traveled more than 2,000 miles since last September, which Karen Kovacs, a wildlife program manager for the California Department of Fish and Game, calls “just incredible.”

Environmentalists tried to aid him in his quest, even petitioning the California Fish and Game Commission to cite gray wolves as an endangered species and develop plans to aid in their growth.

Still the dream of the California gray wolf is not over. According to Russ Morgan, the wolf coordinator with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (and candidate for coolest job title ever): “It’s possible OR7 will cross back into California and be using areas in both states. While wolves crossing state boundaries may be significant for people, wolves and other wildlife don’t pay attention to state borders.”

Don't stop believin'.