WENATCHEE, W ash . — The state’s newest wolf pack has disappeared as quickly as it came.
The two gray wolves that terrorized a ranch south of Wenatchee last spring haven’t been seen in months. Wildlife officials believe they followed deer and elk to higher ground during the early summer. It’s unknown where they went from there.
The two wolves were first spotted in March on the Hurd Ranch, where a pregnant cow and an elk were both found dead. Wildlife officers determined that the wolves did not kill either animal.
The wolves were officially named the Wenatchee Pack. Their presence prompted the Hurds to fence in their cattle for the first time ever. The wolves were spotted on and off for about two months, mainly at the Hurd’s ranch. But they haven’t been seen or heard since May.
State wildlife biologist Dave Volson said only time will tell whether the wolves remained a pack or split up, and whether they will return to the Wenatchee area. Biologists were never able to trap either of the animals to put a tracking collar on them.
“For now, they are still considered a pack,” he said.
He said the most likely time they would return to the area is during the winter when the elk and deer concentrate closer to populated areas.
“Wolves are still colonizing new areas in Washington,” he said. “It could be that Wenatchee met their needs for a short while and they’ve moved on for good.”