California’s last wolf leaves for Oregon

Apparently homesick and lovesick, the lone wolf known as OR-7 has left California this week to return to his native territory of eastern Oregon.

The gray wolf, which wears a global positioning system collar, entered the golden state in late December and became the first wild wolf in California in 88 years.

OR-7, also known as Journey, left his Imnaha pack in September and has spent the past two months touring California’s Siskiyou, Shasta and Lassen counties. Wildlife managers in Oregon and California have been tracing his more than 1,000 mile-journey, as he most likely searches for a pretty, young wolf to start his own pack. D’awww.

But the search for love has turned up fruitless for Journey. Probably because California’s last known wolf was trapped and killed in Lassen County in 1924.

Eric Loft, chief of wildlife with the California Department of Fish and Game, said it appears Journey is following his own scent back home, where he will either join an Oregon wolf pack or return back to California.

Russ Morgan, wolf coordinator with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, told SFGate:

“It’s possible OR-7 will cross back into California and be using areas in both states. While wolves crossing state boundaries may be significant for people, wolves and other wildlife don’t pay attention to state borders.”