The wolf, known as OR93, was found dead on Interstate 5 about 90 miles north of Los Angeles, near the city of Lebec, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said in a news release.
Foul play was not suspected, the department said.
OR93 was born in Northern Oregon in 2019. After being dressed with a radio collar a year later, he was caught traveling to California’s Central Coast – the first wolf to be reported there in hundreds of years, said Amarok Weiss, an attorney at the center. for biological diversity.
“I am devastated to learn of the death of this remarkable wolf,” Weiss said in a statement. “His epic trip to California inspired the world. In this annual time of reflection, I thank him for the hope he gave us and what it would be like for wolves to roam wild and free again , a brief glimpse of it.”
By April, OR93 had reached about 1,000 miles south of its birthplace in San Luis Obispo County, California. Then, his radio caller stopped working, prompting the San Francisco Chronicle. Consider The whereabouts of this “young roaming gray wolf” who was “probably looking for love” and while doing so left wildlife officials.
Looking for a mate, Weiss said, OR93 was captured on a trail camera in Kern County further south, where his body would later be found. In September, he was spotted in northern Ventura County.
The last time a wolf was documented that far south was 1922, wildlife officials said, when one was seen in San Bernardino County.
“I always knew that her chances of finding another wolf on the Central Coast were second to none, but her tireless wanderings in search of a kindred spirit have struck her with the hearts of so many,” Weiss said. . “He will not be forgotten, and we will honor his memory as we continue to fight for the safety of the wolves everywhere.”
Gray wolves are native to California but were killed over a century ago. About 20 are now believed to live in the state in the two northern counties, Weiss said.
Weiss pointed to the death of OR93 as a reminder of the impact of development and dispersal on native animal habitat and called for the creation of effective wildlife crossings, including underpasses and overpasses.
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