PORTLAND – Oregon’s celebrity wolf, OR-7 has a mate and new pups, according to wildlife biologists.
In May, biologists suspected that OR-7 had found a mate, after remote cameras in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest captured images of a black female wolf in the area.
US. Fish and Wildlife and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists later returned to the Cascade Mountains of southwest Oregon on Monday and took pictures of two wild pups that they believe are the offspring of OR-7 and his new mate.
The biologists also collected poop samples for DNA testing.
The pups are the first known wolves born in the Oregon Cascades since the mid-1940s, according to wildlife experts.
“This is very exciting news,” said Paul Henson, state supervisor for the ODFW. “It continues to illustrate that gray wolves are being recovered.”
There were 64 known wolves in Oregon as of last year, mostly in Oregon's northeast corner.
OR-7 has been been looking to start a family since he left the Imnaha pack in northeastern Oregon in 2011. His now famous travels have been maliciously documented in the press and taken him thousands of miles across mountains, deserts and ranches. He's gone down into Northern California and then back to Oregon.
OR-7 and his intrepid quest have been the subject of a documentary film and a satirical run for governor.