Environment & Science

First wolf pack in decades spotted in Northern California

A wolf pack was spotted in Northern California for the first time in decades.
A wolf pack was spotted in Northern California for the first time in decades.
Picasa/California Dept of Fish and Wildlife

California cameras have caught sight of the first wolf pack on state grounds since the last known California wolf was killed in 1924.

Trail cameras captured images of two individual adult wolves, along with of five wolf pups that are believed to be roughly four months old, state wildlife told KPCC.

The pack of wolves was dubbed the "Shasta Pack" after nearby Mount Shasta. 

"This is the first time that wolves have been documented in California since the 1920s with the exception of [one who arrived] from Oregon," California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Jordan Traverso said.

Four years ago OR-7, the famous Oregon wandering wolf reached Northern California.

California has historically been a home to wolves, but the animals were slowly eliminated from the state as the human population began to grow.

The department will continue to work on a draft for a wolf management plan already in the works. Traverso said it will now be amended as officials didn't expect to start seeing wolves so soon. 

"Wolves are protected in the state of California both federally and state listed as an endangered species so that protects them from any kind of harassment, " Traverso said. "We're recommending that people do their best to stay far away from them."

The Associated Press reports wolves were reintroduced in the Northern Rockies 21 years ago. Packs eventually migrated into Oregon and Washington, before finally reaching California.