SACRAMENTO, Aug. 20 (UPI) — Wildlife officials in California say they have photographic evidence of the first gray wolf pack in the state in nearly a century.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife captured images of two black-furred gray wolf adults and five pups in northern California. Other than a lone wolf spotted in 2011, official say the so-called Shasta Pack are the first confirmed wolves in the state since 1924.
“This news is exciting for California,” CDFW Director Charlton H. Bonham said. “We knew wolves would eventually return home to the state and it appears now is the time.”
Trail cameras recorded individual images of the two adults, as well as one photo of the pups, which appear to be a few months old.
Wolves used to be seen regularly in California, but they are now considered endangered by both the state and federal government. The last time a gray wolf was spotted in the state was in December 2011, when a monitored wolf designated OR7 entered the state from Oregon. OR7 has since returned to Oregon, where he started the Rogue Pack.