State decides to kill entire wolf pack in northeast Wash.

Gray wolf (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo)

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- State wildlife officials say an entire wolf pack in Ferry County will be killed after two calf carcasses and an injured calf were found.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife says it has confirmed a wolf attack on the injured calf and that the dead calves were probably killed by wolves.

The wolves have killed or injured six cows or maybe five others since mid-July.

Jim Unsworth, director of the Department of Fish and Wildlife, authorized field staff to remove the remaining members of the Profanity Peak wolf pack to prevent additional attacks on cattle between Republic and Kettle Falls.

State wildlife officials shot two pack members Aug. 5, but ended the kills after two weeks passed without any more attacks on cattle,

"At that time, we said we would restart this operation if there was another wolf attack, and now we have three," said Donny Martorello, department wolf policy lead. "The department is committed to wolf recovery, but we also have a shared responsibility to protect livestock from repeated depredation by wolves."

The wolves, known as the Profanity Peak wolf pack, make up one of 19 known wolf packs in Washington state. Earlier this summer, the department determined that the pack had at least 11 members, including six adults and five pups.

Since 2008, the state's confirmed wolf population has grown from two wolves in one pack to at least 90 wolves and 19 packs by early 2016.

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