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On March 31, 2016, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife gunned down by helicopter Wolf OR-4, his pregnant female mate and two offspring which made up the Imnaha Pack of Wallowa County. There are thought to be 110 wolves currently inhabiting territory in Oregon, the Imnaha Pack among the most publicized and well known.
OR-4 was initially collared on February 12, 2010 and was collared three more times before his death. ODFW kept close track of OR-4 due to his size and breeding and to maintain data to manage social and livestock concerns. Initially weighed at 115 pounds OR-4 was considered the largest wolf in Oregon.
Considered old for a wild wolf OR-4 was approximately 10 years old. The life span of wild wolves greatly vary due to any number of influences that effect mortality, but the average is 5-8 years. OR-4’s “elderly” status earned him respect for his resilience and tenacity.
OR-4’s mate was spotted with a limp and bad leg. The breeding pair of a wolf pack usually lead the hunts for prey with the offspring to either help or keep at a learning distance.
It is thought, due to old age and possible deposition by a younger male, that OR-4 and his pack attacked and killed livestock five times in March.