The Wolf That Could, OR7 Crosses Into California and Walks Into History..

The Imnaha Pack, OR7’s Parents  (Alpha Female”Sophie” far left, Alpha Male OR4, black wolf , head  lowered) (ODFW)

OR7, the young, dispersing Oregon wolf, who has captured the world’s attention with his epic journey, crossed into California from Oregon Wednesday night, making him the first wolf to officially set a paw in California since 1924. It was in his  genes, In 2008, OR7’s  mother, wolf  B-300, nicknamed “Sophie”,  dispersed from Idaho into Oregon by swimming the Snake River to her new home in the “Beaver State”.

Here she is caught on camera scampering along in the snow after her 08 arrival, quite the traveler,  just like her famous son.

“A female gray wolf from Idaho’s Timberline Pack has been positively located in Oregon”  “The wolf, a two to three-year-old female identified as B-300″. “Experts have long predicted that wolves from the expanding Idaho population would continue to cross the Snake River and enter Oregon. “

Once in Oregon “Sophie” found a mate, OR4 and became the alpha female of the Imnaha Pack, the first wolf pack to inhabit Oregon in over sixty years.  It’s been a rough go for the Imnaha’s,  beleaguered for the last several years, under constant death threats  because of a handful of livestock depredations blamed on the pack (19 in two years).  Oregon ranchers lost 51,200 cows  (NASS) to non-predation in 2010 but the focus is always on negligible  losses to wolves. The livestock industry gets lots of mileage grandstanding about wolves. I guess they figure if they repeat something often enough people will believe it. Nobody is going out of business over 19 cows.

“Rob Klavins of Oregon Wild said that the number of livestock killed by gray wolves is miniscule compared with the numbers that die being born, in severe weather or from disease. Ranchers also lose cows to thieves. 

“Wolves are not a threat to the livestock industry,” Klavins said, emphasizing the need for the state to balance the needs of ranchers with conservation.” 

Even with the shadow hanging over his parent’s heads nothing can diminish OR7’s accomplishment, he is his mother’s son, following in her illustrious footsteps.

Wolves are consummate wanderers, they can travel 25 miles a day without breaking a sweat. They have runner’s bodies with their long legs, deep chests, slim bodies and snowshoe feet. Wolves are the marathoners of the animal kingdom and OR-7 has not disappointed.

His travels:

“Tracking OR7’s Journey From His Natal Pack, Before He Crossed Into California Wednesday night”(ODFW)

Just two years old,  he’s doing what wolves have done for thousands of years, search for a mate to establish his own pack and claim territory. To add to his mystery, no recent pictures of him exist.

Wearing a GPS collar, OR7’s wanderings have been closely tracked by biologists. He migrated 730 miles across Oregon over two months beginning last September. Over the past month, he’s been in the Siskiyou National Forest, northeast of Medford. This week, he wandered south of the Oregon town of Keno, just 10 miles from the California border.

“He’s doing what young males typically do — they outgrow their pack and go out to find their own mate, to try to make a pack,” said fish and game spokeswoman Jordan Traverso.

He’s not likely to find a mate  in California, unless he’s aware of something we aren’t. There could be uncollared wolves in California we know nothing about.  Or he might be traveling with a female companion.  He’s remained elusive as only wolves can, so no one is quite sure what he’s up to. More then likely he’ll wander around for awhile and return to Oregon or travel into Nevada,  or he could head further south, it’s anyone’s guess.

I worry for his safety, so many eyes are on him and not just friendly ones. OR7 is FEDERALLY PROTECTED by the Endangered Species Act, it’s a crime to harm him.

Ranchers are already beating the drums about his presence.  But wolves really have little impact on livestock.

Steve Pedery, Oregon Wild’s conservation director, sees the wolf divide as a culture clash.

“Folks are really fighting wolf recovery … because they perceive it as the big bad federal government or the terrible people in the Willamette Valley in Oregon bringing back an animal that their grandparents wiped out for good cause,” he said. “It’s really more of a debate over values than it is about wolves and what they actually do.”

On a lighter note. OR7 was to have a new name.

“…The conservation group Oregon Wild, deciding that OR7 needed a more endearing name, launched a contest that drew several hundred suggestions from children as far away as Nigeria and Taiwan. The winner will be announced after New Year’s Day from the five finalists: Arthur, Max, Journey, Lupin and Takota.

Since he’s now a California wolf has Oregon lost the right to name him? We’ll see. He may be taking a holiday stroll in the Golden State and be back in Oregon before the New Year.

Stay safe OR7, the eyes of the world are upon you.

Britain’s Daily Mail recently said OR-7 “captured the heart of the American public” with his incredible zigzag journey through the state that began Sept. 10 in Wallowa County. A Google search shows he’s on more than 300 websites, and his story has been picked up in Finland, Austria, Taiwan, Sweden, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and Argentina. 

I hope this will bring the much-needed publicity wolves are due.  His wolf kin in Idaho and Montana and being slaughtered in brutal wolf hunts, 316 are dead as of 12/29/2011. The Idaho hunt stretches all the way into June 2012, in the Lolo and Selway zones. Ten long months!!

This young wolves’ journey has boosted the  spirits of weary advocates, grateful  for any good wolf news. With his light shining so bright, it’s hard not to see the greatness of wolves!

“Alpha Female, B-300 Imnaha Pack (OR7’s mother) and a Two Year Old Male” (ODFW)


Lone wolf crosses into California from Oregon

The young animal is the first wolf known to be at large in California since 1924. Wildlife authorities in both states have been monitoring the wolf since it set out from the Crater Lake area in September.,0,6653668.story?track=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+latimes%2Fnews%2Flocal+%28L.A.+Times+-+California+%7C+Local+News%29


Wolf’s journey marks strides for its species

By Lisa M. Krieger

 Posted: 12/29/2011 09:23:35 PM PST


OR-7 ,Oregon’s wandering wolf ,captures imagination of worldwide audience

Published: Sunday, December 11, 2011, 10:20 PM     Updated: Monday, December 12, 2011, 12:06 AM
 By Richard Cockle, The Oregonian–_oregons_wandering_wolf.html

“OR-11, A Male Pup (born Spring 2011) from Oregon’s Walla Walla Pack” (ODFW)


Photos: Courtesy ODFW

Posted in:  Oregon wolves, California wolves,  gray wolf

Tags: OR7, dispersing wolf, Oregon, California, rock star wolf, wolves elusive, Imnaha Pack, ODFW, biodiversity

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36 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Bless you, OR-7, may you be the first of many!

  2. God bless her! Applaud her! Love her. May God stay at your side through the rest of your trip and the rest of your life protecting you and yours.

  3. I am worried about him. Human evilness has no boundaries. Remember Romeo, Juneau’s famous black wolf, who baffled naturalists and biologists with his friendly behavior towards humans and dogs and had fans all over the world, was nevertheless illegally shot by a Juneau man in 2010. The fact that he is radio collared makes him even more vulnerable.

  4. Finally, some good news or @ least happy news.
    Please, whom ever is up above & all around us~ keep him safe.

  5. I grow increasingly concerned about the welfare of this wolf. He has traveled very far and has no one to hunt with. He is looking for a mate to start his own pack and there clearly are none around, especially not in California. He is being tracked minute by minute and really is only safe in utter secrecy, which is impossible with an active radio collar on his neck. I wish someone would dismantle his collar and release a female for him to mate with.

    • I totally agree: radio collars, under the disguise of “science research” are a death sentence for wolves. They do not belong on a wild animal, they are against nature, they are cumbersome, they probably often hurt and the only purpose they serve is to facilitate the killing of wolves.

      • Astrid…Radio collars are the kiss of death for wolves. Wildlife Services uses them all the time, they collar the alphas of the pack so when the get a kill order they know the entire pack will stick with the leaders, so they can usually find them all. In the case of OR7 it may be a good thing he’s being tracked because we know he is still alive and safe. Normally I don’t approve of collars.

        For the wolves, For the wild ones,

    • I’m a worried about him too Donna…at the beginning of his journey I wasn’t too happy ODFW was giving out information on his whereabouts…it seemed anyone could track him down. But wolves are so elusive and the winter has been so mild this year, he has plenty of cover. Now I think so many people are following him that the wouldn’t dare try to harm him but who knows. We can only hope a higher power watches over him and keeps him safe.

      For the wolves, For the wild ones,

  6. And may our precious wanderer find sanctuary somewhere. He’s certainly welcome on our land at any time. (Although I suppose that’s a bit of a hike…)

    • SCW…amen.

      For the wolves, For the wild ones,

  7. I could hardlly wait to pass the news from frnt page of SF Chronicle & the TV news tonight BUT you beat me to it! I am so happy although very worried about him – can other people track his collar? I mean other than whoever attached it? This is not Montana, Idaho or Wyoming – the ranchers better not try to kill Wolves they will have a very angry public to deal with and I will be right there marching and doing whatever I can to save them. The problem – he has no pack. The ranchers were already on the news tonight mouthing off about how the Wolves will decimate their cows – they just do not get it – they are on public land and have to share. They lost out when they tried to get the Mountain Lions slaughtered and a bill passed in the late 90’s to stop trophy hunting, and leg-traps were outlawed. All the animal people have to do is get pictures on the very friendly news showing what they do to the Wolves in those killer states and they will have a carte blanche, unless we have more republicans than I think! I hope this guy stays safe.

    • Pat…LOL on beating you too it. I was so excited to hear he had crossed over into California. He’s federally protected under the ESA now, although I believe he was protected in Western Oregon as well.

      Yes Mountain Lions have been protected for decades. California is much more progressive concerning predators. The “good ole boys” don’t run that state like they do in the Northern be sure the ranchers are complaining already about ONE WOLF but they don’t have the clout some of the wolf states do.

      Stay safe OR7.

      For the wolves, For the wild ones,

  8. OR7 is protected under the Oregon Endangered Species Act, but California is another story. God bless this indepedent free spirit being- just doing what a normal wolf can and will do. Pray for his success in life!
    Happy New year to all and especially or7.
    Jane of Oregon

    • Jane…he is showing the world how wolves regulate their numbers. They disperse to other areas when they are old enough to look for a mate. If they would just be allowed to roam the way OR7 has been, just think how well wolf recovery would go. When they try to leave Montana or Wyoming they always seem to end up shot.

      For the wolves, For the wild ones,

  9. I pray this wonderful creature stays alive and that there is a – hitherto – unknown mate for him. Let this be a beginning.

  10. The whole world as in EARTH, knows about these wolves and their long, long trek and we are watching out for them and the younger male wolf that took out on his own apparently looking for a mate. God help anyone that harms any one of them. If they do, and I were them, I’d try my best to get into the Witness Protection Program, fast!

  11. Nabeki,
    Thank you again for all you have done for wolves this year. All their spirits find a haven in your heart. Hoping for better days in the new year.

    • You are so welcome Janet, I really appreciate your kind words. I love the wolves and that love keeps me going day after day but this blog would be nothing without you and my other wonderful readers.

      For the wolves, For the wild ones,

  12. Welcome Home!!! May you be the first of many wolves to return to California. Many blessings to the wolves in 2012!!!!!

  13. Wishing many blessings upon wanderer OR7 :D Most importantly, the blessing of protection ! It is so cool he turned out to be a pioneer like his mother Sophie ;D

    • Ann…Wolves are the animal worlds great travelers. OR7 inherited his mother’s wanderlust, both of made epic journeys. I wish more wolves would escape the pressure cooker of Idaho. They are so short-sighted there. The money the state could make on eco-tourism would be so much greater then what they make from hunting licenses. People would pay big money to see wild wolves.

      For the wolves, For the wild ones,

  14. I believe the guys who killed the famous Alaskan wolf, Romeo, were run out of town, and from what i read, they wouldn’t have killed him had they realized who he was beforehand, for fear of repercussions.

    • Very good point Ann. I was pretty worried when everyone started pointing out his position while he was traveling through Oregon. But with the world watching I think he is safer now. There would be such outrage if anything happened to him. And yes he is his mother’s son. I love the video of Sophie scampering along through the snow when she first entered Idaho.

      I still don’t think they should be giving out his exact position in California though.

      He reminds me of 314f who logged thousands of miles on her GPS collar but she met a sad end. The advantage OR7 has is he’s traveling in two fairly progressive states, even though Northern California can be very conservative in some places. 314f had to run the gauntlet through states like Idaho, Montana and even Colorado, where wolves face hostility. Colorado would be great habitat for wolves, there about 275,000 elk there I believe.

      For the wolves, For the wild ones,

  15. Just saw this beautiful guy on the news. Hoping he gets to where he’s headed and safely. Truly hope he gets out of Cali soon. Happy trails to you big guy.

  16. I whole-heartedly welcome Journey (Wolf OR7) back into the Golden State. Finally, some good wolf news! I was soo excited when I found out about this, and I hope that other wolves will soon follow in his paw-steps and recolonize California. I just hope that he stays safe and is not killed by hateful ranchers! Oh yeah, and I just saw the News on the TV talk about his return to CA. Isn’t that cool?

    • It is very cool CarlaVelosoWolf. I worry for his safety but he is protected under the ESA and the eyes of the world are on him, which puts him in a safer position. Also DFG is not giving out detailed info on his location, which is good. He is making history like his famous mother, “Sophie”, B-300, who swam the Snake River from Idaho and established the first wolf pack in Oregon in over 60 years. OR-7 (Journey) is indeed a special wolf.

      For the wolves, For the wild ones,

      • As they say, like mother, like son. Yes, Journey is a very special wolf. He’s special to me, anyways. I would be heart-broken if something happened to him. I hope he one day finds the girl of his dreams and starts a pack with her (hopefully in California).

      • Carla…California DFG has a map on their website, posting his position.
        “The map illustrates the general location of the wolf based on information from a GPS collar attached to it by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. It shows the wolf’s location only through Jan. 7 in order to protect it from potential poachers.”

        Read more here:

        Hey they shouldn’t be posting it at all. Just say there’s wolf in California and that’s it. They don’t think a good tracker couldn’t find him just knowing his general location? Please write to California DFG and tell them to stop doing that. This is NOT going to help him stay healthy. What are they thinking?

        For the wolves, For OR7’s (Journey) continuing safety,

  17. HELL NO they shouldn’t be posting his whereabouts. What are they on crack??? Geez – your right Nabeki, any good tracker will find him if they want & there are enough idiots out there who would try.
    Will write fish & wildlife & the paper.

  18. Everyone please note that OR-7’s tracking data is not being released daily. As of today, Jan. 20th., no tracking updates have been released in 9 days by the California DFG. Meaning that by the time tracking data is released days later he can be hundreds of miles away, maybe even be in Nevada. No one who hates wolves and who would want to shoot him will ever find him that way. He is in more danger from getting hit crossing a road. Most hunting seasons are closed in California and the weather has turned bad, so he’s safer from a chance encounter with a hunter who might be tempted to break the law.

  19. Thanks Brad for the 411.
    I hope he is safe any way u look @ it.

  20. I am a resident of Lassen county and this last sunday a friend and i came across Journeys tracks in the snow, im a photographer and have been in contact with someone in the ODFG to confirm he did pass through this l particular location(of which i will not reveal for his safetly). i am honored to of captured a little bit of history.

    • Very cool Tanya -

    • correction its DFG in CALIF lol ooppes thinking oregon as thats where it all started.

  21. I’m following from Grants Pass, Or.
    Thnx for caring ALL

    • Howls Ted!!


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