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The gray wolf is back

Posted by Erinn Unger at Jul 30, 2008 04:46 PM |

It has been confirmed. The gray wolf is, once again, a part of Washington state’s ecosystem. Washington's first resident wolf pack since the 1930s has made itself at home. Several pups and an adult were sniffing around a remote camera placed on private land in the Methow Valley by advocacy group Conservation Northwest. The story was reported in the Methow Valley News, read it here.

The footage was captured on July 18, the same day a male and a lactating female wolf were tranquilized and tagged by a team of scientists.

The capture was an additional piece of evidence that the wolves are back. Howling surveys had been taken days earlier, and the Washington state wolf sighting hotline has been ringing off the hook. Some are actual sightings, while other reports are people seeing what they think are the animals — which often turn out to be large coyotes or dogs — everywhere from backyards to golf courses.

Wolves are very reclusive and generally avoid contact with hikers, but nevertheless, keep your eyes peeled when hiking in Okanogan County, and you can even program the toll-free Wolf Reporting Hotline number into your cell phone, just in case: 1-888-584-9038

Those eager for the return of the endangered wolf to the wilds of Washington are thrilled with the influx of news, and with the footage of the adorable (but still endangered) wolf pups, rolling and romping playfully in the shifting sun.

Conservation Northwest put together the footage (check it out here), and while watching it I couldn’t help but think, welcome back to the Evergreen State. I bet it’s good to be home.