PORTLAND -- A wolf known as OR7 may have found a mate in southwest Oregon s Cascade Mountains.
In early May, remote cameras on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest captured several images of what appears to be a black female wolf in the same area where OR7 is currently located, according to information from his GPS tracking collar.
The remote cameras were set up by wildlife officials as part of ongoing wolf monitoring efforts. New images of OR7 were also captured on the same cameras, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The famous wandering wolf OR7 has been shuttling between Oregon and California looking for a mate since fall 2011.
Back in December 2013, wolf tracks were confirmed after a sighting on the eastern flanks of Mount Hood. It was not known if the Mount Hood wolf was a female and potential mate for OR7, or another dispersing male, said the department's wolf coordinator, Russ Morgan. But the area has plenty of deer and elk for prey.
Background: Wolf tracks spotted on Mt. Hood
Rob Klavins, a wildlife advocate for the conservation group Oregon Wild, had hoped the two wolves would turn into a breeding pair.
The new data seems to indicate that OR7 may have paired up and denned, according to John Stephenson, service wolf biologist. If that is correct, they would be rearing pups at this time of year.
Wolf pups are generally born in mid-April, so any pups would be less than a month old at this time.
If confirmed, the pups would mark the first known wolf breeding in the Oregon Cascades since the early 20th century.