A wolf pack has been spotted in California for the first time in nearly a century.
Two adults and five pups have been confirmed in southeastern Siskiyou County. Local ranchers tending to their herds told authorities they had spotted the animals.
State and federal authorities subsequently confirmed the sightings after a remote camera captured photos of the pack.
The state’s grey wolf population became extinct in 1924. They were named the Shasta pack, after the nearby Mount Shasta.
Karen Kovacs, from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said she was stunned by the news of the wolves’ return. She believes they have most likely migrated from Oregon’s north-eastern corner.
It is hoped DNA tests might be able to give a more accurate understanding of the animals’ backgrounds.
The canines are protected by federal and state endangered species legislation but Amaroq Weiss, from the Centre for Biological Diversity, said local conservationists are concerned the wolves could still fall victim to hunters as hunting season gets underway in the area.
With additional reporting by APReuse content