Lone wolf crosses border

Lone wolf marks the return of species to California

<i>Note: The gray wolf pictured is not OR7.</i>

Note: The gray wolf pictured is not OR7.

A lone gray wolf being tracked by the Department of Fish and Game has crossed the border of Oregon into California, marking the return of a species that was wiped out 85 years ago.

Wolf OR7 is a descendant of wild wolves reintroduced to Idaho in the 1990s and offspring of one of Oregon’s four wolf packs, according to SF Gate. The wolf is about 300 miles from its family and does not figure to stay long, as it will likely soon be in search of a mate. While the wolf is considered by biologists to be a “keystone species,” responsible for keeping deer and elk populations in check, the Department of Fish and Game has no plans to reintroduce wolves to California. However, they do predict wolves will return naturally.

The last California wolf was killed in 1924 as part of a movement to protect livestock.