California Welcomes the First Wild Wolf Pack in 90 Years

First Posted: Aug 25, 2015 09:16 AM EDT

For the first time in years, northern California has its very own wolf pack. Researchers have spotted seven wolves in southern Siskiyou County this month, which shows that the wolf population may be rebounding.

The new pack of wolves has been nicknamed the "Shasta Pack" for their proximity to the Cascades Volcano. The pack itself consists of two adult wolves with five pups that are only a few months old.

It's been more than 90 years since California had a single wild wolf residing in the state. This is mostly due to the government-sponsored eradication effort that also managed to push away the state's grizzlies. With new conservation efforts, though, it seems as if these large animals are returning.

The adult wolves from the new pack are believed to be from Oregon. However, wildlife officials don't believe they are descended from the one wolf that wandered into California in 2011.

"This news is exciting for California," said Charlton H. Bonham, CDFW Director, in a news release. "We knew wolves would eventually return home to the state and it appears now is the time."

In June 2014, the California Fish and Game Commission voted to list gray wolves as endangered under the California Endangered Species Act. The wolves are also listed as endangered in California under the Federal Endangered Species Act of 1973.

Now, it seems as if these efforts have paid off. Wolves are returning to California in the form of this new pack.

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