Possible wolf sightings around the area of China Hat Road southeast of Bend have been posted on social media sites this week, prompting the interest of residents wondering if a wolf has taken up residence in the area.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife received a number of wolf sighting reports in the area around China Hat Road this week.
Andrew Walch, wildlife habitat biologist for the ODFW in Bend, has seen photos and heard reports from concerned residents but was unable to confirm if the animal that had been spotted was a wolf.
“It certainly has some wolf-like features, but its behavior and the area it has been repeatedly seen (with extremely high amount human activity) has us wondering if perhaps it is a domestic wolf/dog hybrid,” Walch wrote in an email to The Bulletin. “It can be difficult to tell from photos sometimes.”
Walch said there are occasionally wolves that disperse through Central Oregon, but they generally leave the area within a couple of days, usually continuing south. There are no known resident wolves or wolf packs in Deschutes County, he added.
ODFW encourages people to fill out a wolf report form, including any photo or video evidence, at www.dfw.state.or.us/wolves/wolf_reporting_form.asp This form provides details of potential wolf sightings to the Fish and Wildlife’s statewide wolf program, as well as local biologists.