ENTERPRISE, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife authorities shot and killed two adult wolves in response to multiple attacks on cattle grazing in northeast Oregon.
One wolf was killed Sunday night and a second was shot Tuesday morning, department spokeswoman Michelle Dennehey said. One was shot from the ground and one from the air, she said.
Ranchers in the area have complained about the pack for some time and asked authorities to kill the entire pack, which included 10 wolves at the end of 2016 and at least seven this past spring, The Capital Press reported.
Ranchers have said the pack operated in an area that put them within striking range of several herds grazing on public or private land. The dry summer caused deer and elk to retreat into the mountains, making cattle "easy targets" for wolves, the Oregon Cattlemen's Association stated.
Todd Nash, an area rancher and county commissioner who is the association's wolf committee chair, said he was disappointed by the department's decision to kill only two wolves.
"We have seen this happen before and we fully expect more cattle to be killed," Nash said. "It's a very unfortunate way to do business."
The department will monitor the situation and could take additional action if remaining members of the Harl Butte wolf pack continue to attack livestock, Dennehey said.