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article imageRare wolf sighting in California

By Tim Sandle     Aug 23, 2015 in Environment
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has spotted the first wolf pack in California for almost 100 years. The sighting has led to a debate about encouraging the wolves to stay or pushing them back northwards.
The wolf pack was spotted in Siskiyou County near the Oregon border. No one actually saw the wolves at the time; however, a remote camera captured the animals as they entered a grassy area. The pack consisted of two adults and five pups. The discovery makes for the first recorded siting of wolves in the state since 1924.
The pack have been name the "Shasta pack" after a nearby mountain. Commenting on the rare event, Charlton Bonham of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife told BBC News: "This news is exciting for California. We knew wolves would eventually return home to the state and it appears now is the time."
The next stage is to decide whether the wolves should be encourage to stay (or nurtured back if they have crossed back over the state line) or be encouraged to wander elsewhere. Some of this is based on emotion, with defendants of the wolves noting how the animal was wiped out in California through hunting. Others are concerned about the dangers to wildlife as well as people.
Re-population is certainly an option. A couple of decades ago wolves were successfully re-introduced back to the Northern Rocky Mountains.
In related news, a similar debate is underway in Scotland. This concerns whether "rewilding" should take place, where long-lost animals, like wolves, are re-introduced into appropriate regions. Discussions about the feasibility of such a project are on-going.
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