Friday, 16 May 2014 | MYT 4:00 PM

Lone wolf OR-7 famous for his epic trek finally finds love

An lone wolf that became the subject of a documentary after making a monumental trek from Oregon to California and back may have finally found what he was searching for: love.

In a wilderness story that gives hope to singles who have travelled the world in search of a soulmate, a lone grey wolf that trekked thousands of kilometres over three years between the states of Oregon and California may have finally got what he wanted.

Loverboy: A recent photo of OR-7, the lone grey wolf who trekked thousands of miles from Oregon to California and back in the past three years, captured by a remote camera in the Oregon Cascades. OR-7 made news when he became the first grey wolf in California since 1924.

Oregon wildlife officials said on May 14 they believe the grey wolf, dubbed OR-7 because he was the seventh wolf collared for tracking in 2011, may have found a mate. If the pair have pups, it would be the first known wolf breeding in the Oregon Cascades since the early 20th century.

OR-7 became well known when he traipsed into California in December 2011, making him the first known wild wolf in the state since 1924. He travelled more than any of the seven wolves that were collared, making him a wilderness celebrity and focus of a documentary being made to track his progress, Wolf OR-7 Expedition

Not only that, he's also the subject of a separately-produced documentary entitled OR-7: The Journey

“I think it brings awareness of the issue of recovery of an endangered species, especially with the potential for his finding a mate and possibly having a family,” said Elizabeth Materna, public affairs specialist for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon Fish and Wildlife Office.

Since March 2013, OR-7 has spent most of his time in the southwestern Cascades of Oregon.

“He hasn’t been wandering as far, he’s been more localised,” Materna said. “That gave (an) indication he may be with a partner.” Biologists also found images on a camera set up to track OR-7 that showed what appeared to be a black female wolf.

The black female wolf spotted on a remote camera wandering in OR-7's territory have wildlife experts speculating she may be his wifey. 

“More localised GPS collar data from OR-7 is an indicator that they may have denned,” Fish and Wildlife Service wolf biologist John Stephenson said in a statement. “If that is correct, they would be rearing pups at this time of year.”

Officials won’t know for sure until June if pups are in the picture because they don’t want to disturb them at a young age. Pups are typically born in mid-April. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

OR-7 was born into northeast Oregon’s Imnaha wolf pack in April 2009. Since 1995, the wolf population in Oregon has increased from zero to approximately 64. The grey wolf was listed in 1973 as an endangered species in the US and remains protected by state and federal laws. Two of OR-7's siblings were unfortunately killed when they were caught in wolf-traps in the state of Idaho. – Reuters

Tags / Keywords: Lifestyle , Lifestyle , Features , Nature , Wildlife , Animal , wolf , Oregon , California , OR7 , grey wolf , Oregon Cascades , documentary , love


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