Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officials have determined a wolf killed a calf Monday southwest of Asotin.

The 4-day-old calf was on a fenced, 90-acre calving pasture, said department spokeswoman Madonna Luers at Spokane. She said the rancher, who the department is not naming as a matter of policy, employs range riders as a preventive measure against predation.

The killing marks the first time any livestock in Asotin County, or in the Washington portion of the Blue Mountains, have been confirmed to have been lost to wolves since the predators began to recolonize the state a few years ago. Last year, the Tucannon Pack established a home territory in the Blues. Luers said the area the calf was killed is within the pack’s home range. However, wildlife officials do not know if the pack is responsible. Wolves dispersing from packs in Idaho and northeastern Oregon are known to move through the area. Luers said none of the members of the Tucannon Pack is fitted with a tracking collar.

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