OR: Wolf sighting reported near Cold Springs

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OR: Wolf sighting reported near Cold Springs

Post by Blightwolf » Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:58 am

Wolf sighting reported near Cold Springs
April 22, 2011

With the presence of wolves already documented in eastern Umatilla County, it was likely only a matter of time before wolf sightings near Hermiston began to be reported.

Larry Weems, a self-described avid outdoorsman, reported seeing a large wolf near Cold Springs Reservoir, roughly eight miles east of Hermiston, on Wednesday, April 20.

Weems told the Hermiston Herald he had been driving on Kosmos Road early Wednesday morning when he spotted a large deer herd running as if spooked by something.

“I’ve seen other wolves,” Weems said. “But this was by far the biggest wolf I’ve ever seen. It was huge.”

According to Russ Morgan, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife wolf coordinator, it’s not impossible that a wolf might show up in Hermiston. Morgan said a motivated wolf can travel as much as 100 miles in a single day, and he has documented lone wolf trips up to 30 miles.

With confirmed wolf sightings in Umatilla County earlier this year, it could easily be possible for a wolf to trek as far west as Hermiston.

“Wolves are a well-traveled animal,” Morgan said. “We’ve had periodic reports all over eastern Oregon.”

Morgan added that most reports turn out to be something other than wolves.

“Most commonly it’s coyotes,” Morgan said, adding that he occasionally receives wolf sighting reports from downtown Portland that are usually coyotes.

“There’s a lot of wolf-like dogs,” Morgan said. “That also makes it difficult.”

While not discounting the possibility of a wolf so near Hermiston, Morgan said it was unlikely.

Weems, however, was adamant that what he saw was, in fact, a wolf.

“I got a real good look at him,” Weems said, describing the animal as roughly 40 inches tall at the shoulder. “I spend a lot of time outdoors. I know the difference between a wolf and a coyote. I’ve shot a lot of coyotes – but this was no coyote.”

Source: http://www.hermistonherald.com/news/wol ... 002e0.html
My memory could be malfunctioning, but aren't there also wolf-coyote hybrids in Oregon, as well? Could've been a coywolf, too.
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Re: OR: Wolf sighting reported near Cold Springs

Post by wolfyattitude » Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:07 am

If that was a wolf then it's pretty big, on average wolves are 27 to 32 inches at the shoulder, and the biggest at 36 inches, so this is huge at 40 inches.
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Re: OR: Wolf sighting reported near Cold Springs

Post by Blightwolf » Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:09 am

Either it's a large wolf, a wolfdog hybrid, or a wolf-coyote hybrid. I don't really see any other possibility of the animal being anything else than one of those three canids.

Wolf-coyote hybrids are rarely black in color, though they can have uncommon pelt colorations, but black is a quite common color for a North American wolf.
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Re: OR: Wolf sighting reported near Cold Springs

Post by Canidae » Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:15 pm

I think the wolf-coyote hybrids--"coywolves"--are prevalent in the eastern United States; Oregon is in the western United States.

But I suppose it's possible that it was some sort of wolf-coyote hybrid; it's always biologically possible for wolves and coyotes to breed, regardless of location.
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Re: OR: Wolf sighting reported near Cold Springs

Post by Blightwolf » Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:56 am

Canidae wrote:I think the wolf-coyote hybrids--"coywolves"--are prevalent in the eastern United States; Oregon is in the western United States.

But I suppose it's possible that it was some sort of wolf-coyote hybrid; it's always biologically possible for wolves and coyotes to breed, regardless of location.
I read an article awhile back which stated that coywolves are expanding their ranges and that their populations are spreading. So it is possible the sighted animal was a wolf-coyote hybrid.

I hope they'll get more sightings of the same canid.
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