After almost a centurylong absence from California, wolves — two adults and five 4-month-old pups — have been spotted in a forested area in Northern California, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced.

The wolves, called the Shasta Pack for their proximity to Mount Shasta, are black, Karen Kovacs, the agency’s wildlife program manager for Northern California, told the San Jose Mercury News. The pups, seen Aug. 9 with the adults, weigh between 35 and 40 pounds.

The last wolf known to be in California before this find was killed in 1924.

The San Jose Mercury News reports:

All but eradicated from the lower 48 states of America by the early 20th century, wolves have staged a major comeback over the past 20 years after U.S. wildlife officials re-established the animals in Wyoming and Idaho. The predators made their way to Oregon by 1999 and have now made their home in the northern reaches of California.

“This is an Endangered Species Act success story in the making,” said Pamela Flick of Defenders of Wildlife, a conservation nonprofit.

The return of the wolf is more than a symbolic achievement, environmentalists say. The pack hunters make ecosystems healthier by killing sick or weak animals and keeping the populations of deer and other prey in check.

Read more here.

Posted by Jenna Berbeo

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