For over 120 years, the gray wolf had been absent from the state of California. Extermination programs, recreational hunting, trapping for fur, and habitat loss, drove the populations down and out until they were extirpated. That is, until OR-7.
The gray wolf, known internationally by his scientific tag designation, ventured over 1,500 kilometres from his pack in Wallowa (the far northeastern corner of the state), Oregon to the western part of the state and into California, making worldwide headlines and exciting wildlife lovers in America.
In the ensuing years since his iconic crossing of the state line, OR-7, also known by many as Journey, has sired two litters of pups in Oregon and continues to amaze researchers and advocates. Despite this success and recognition, however, OR-7’s life is not easy and his safety is not guaranteed.
Defender Radio was joined by Amaroq Weiss of the Center for Biological Diversity to discuss the world’s fascination with this wolf, what he represents to advocates and why policies are being debated that could see him murdered.
Photo credit: Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife
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