Wolves from the Keating pack killed a four-month-old calf on a private pasture north of Keating Valley last weekend, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) said.
A ranch employee checking cattle the morning of Monday, May 31, found the dead calf, which had been dragged under a fence. The carcass was about 12 feet outside the fence for the 400-acre private pasture.
The carcass was intact and had not been scavenged, according to an ODFW report. An ODFW biologist who examined the carcass Monday estimated the calf had died 24 to 36 hours earlier.
The biologist skinned the carcass and found pre-mortem tooth scrapes on the rear of both back legs, the groin and behind the front right elbow. Underlying muscle trauma extended at least 1 1/2 inches deep, according to the ODFW report.
“The location, size, number, and direction of tooth scrapes and severe underlying muscle tissue trauma are consistent with wolf attack injuries on calves. The depredation is attributed to the Keating Pack.”
Wolves from that pack killed a pair of two-month-old calves in the same area in late April.
ODFW officials investigated another incident on May 22, when a rancher found the carcass of a two-week-old, 100-pound calf in a private, eight-acre irrigated grass pasture.
According to the ODFW report, the carcass was mostly consumed and there was no chase or struggle scene found, and no “postmorten bite marks, hemorrhage, or muscle tissue trauma found on the calf.”
The investigator was not able to determine what killed the calf.
The Keating pack consists of eight wolves, according to the annual wolf report ODFW released in April.
The pack had at least two pups in the spring of 2020 that survived through the end of the year.
Brian Ratliff, district wildlife biologist at ODFW’s Baker City office, said ODFW trapped three wolves from the pack in January of this year and fitted them with tracking collars. However, he said that only one of those collars is still functioning.