Closer look at OR-7

Video: Wandering wolf caught on trail camera

By Dylan J. Darling / The Bulletin / @DylanJDarling

Back in the spotlight for potentially finally finding a mate, OR-7, can be seen in a short video released today by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

John Stephenson, Oregon wolf coordinator for the agency, said he made the video from a series of a dozen trail camera images of the wolf, which became a wildlife celebrity a couple of years ago by trekking from Northeast Oregon to deep into California. The cameras captured the images around 6:50 a.m. on May 5.

The GPS collar OR-7 has worn throughout his remarkable journey is visible in the video caught in the southern Cascades on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.

“You get a real good view of his collar in that photo and in that sequence,” Stephenson said.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife scientists affixed the collar to the wolf in late February 2011, said Michelle Dennehy, ODFW spokeswoman. With it came the name OR-7, identifying him as the seventh wolf collared in Oregon.

Once part of the Imnaha Pack, OR-7 left his family in September 2011. During his thousands of miles worth of wandering he became the first wolf in about 70 years in Central Oregon — he passed through Crook and Deschutes counties — and the first wolf in California in nearly 90 years.

Most recently he’s been haunting the woods between Klamath Falls and Medford and now appears to have found a mate. Stephenson earlier this month discovered photos of a female wolf sharing a territory with OR-7. Data from the wolf’s collars indicates he may have denned up with the female and the pair could have pups.

— Reporter: 541-617-7812, ddarling@bendbulletin.com