A second pack of extremely rare grey wolves has been spotted in Northern California, meaning the species, thought to have been extinct in the state since 1924, could be charging for a comeback.
A female grey wolf, her mate and at least three pups were seen, state wildlife officials said, in the Lassen National Forest.
The cute grey pups, seen here, were likely born this spring near the state’s eastern border to a female wolf of unknown origins. Biologists began surveying the Lassen National Forest area in May after they found evidence of wolves in the area.
On June 30, 2017, they captured the 75-pound female grey wolf and fitted her with a tracking collar. An examination revealed she had recently given birth to pups.
The wolves, named the Lassen Pack by the U.S. Forest Service employee who first detected their location, are the second pack of grey wolves known to be in California since they were mostly killed off in the 1920s, officials said. The first confirmed breeding pair in California produced five pups in Siskiyou County in 2015.
That family of seven wolves, which was known as the Shasta Pack, hasn’t been spotted since May 2016, although one of the pups was detected in northwestern Nevada in November 2016, the department said.