California wildlife officials believe a gray wolf has been moving through a remote part of Siskiyou County.
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Monday that evidence points to the presence of a male wolf in the far northern area of the state, although DNA testing on scat collected failed to show conclusively that the animal, captured on camera, was a gray wolf.
Officials said that earlier this summer they began receiving reports of sightings of a large, dark-furred animal. Wildlife authorities set up trail cameras in an effort to catch a glimpse of the animal.
In early May, images from those cameras showed a large, dark, single animal.
In June, a state biologist found tracks believed to be that of a wolf. Cameras placed at that location yielded images of a ‘large, dark-colored canid’ on July 24.
If further investigation reveals the animal to be a gray wolf, it would be the fist time in a year that a wolf has been sighted in the state. The animal does not have a radio collar and is possibly a male dispersing from a pack in Oregon, officials said.
The wolf is not the male who wandered between Oregon and California in 2011, authorities said. That wolf, known as OR7, was the first confirmed wolf in California since 1924.
OR7 now has a mate and is part of a pack in Oregon.
Wolves were placed on the state’s endangered species list last year. The state is close to releasing a draft wolf management for public comment.