A record-breaking wolf that was the first to go close to Yosemite in almost a century has been discovered dead.

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A record-breaking wolf that was the first to go close to Yosemite in almost a century has been discovered dead.

Wildlife officials reported that a juvenile male wolf, the first in 100 years to enter Mono County, just east of Yosemite National Park, has died.

OR93, a gray wolf, was born in 2019 and was GPS-collared. He’d left the White River pack in northern Oregon and traveled through Lassen, Plumas, Sierra, Nevada, Placer, El Dorado, Amador, and Calaveras counties on his way to California.

He arrived in Mono County in February. Since the species’ return to California ten years ago, this is the furthest south a wolf has traveled in the state.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife stated, “Young gray wolves can spread quite long distances from their natal region, and OR93 is no exception.”

“The last known wolf captured that far south was in San Bernardino County in 1922.”

OR93’s collar had last transmitted a GPS signal on April 5. The wolf had gone about 1,000 air miles in California up to that point, averaging 16 miles per day.

On November 10, he was discovered dead near Interstate 5 in the town of Lebec. A truck driver had reported sighting a dead wolf on a dirt trail to wildlife authorities.

A necropsy was done on his body at the Wildlife Health Laboratory in Rancho Cordova. OR93 had been hit by an automobile, it was discovered. He’d sustained serious injuries to one of his back legs, as well as soft tissue injuries to his abdomen. No foul play is suspected, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Gray wolves are protected under California’s Endangered Species Act, making hunting, shooting, wounding, killing, capturing, or harming them illegal.

Wolves were previously widespread in California, with historical ranges indicating that they frequented the Sierra Nevada, southern Cascades, Modoc Plateau, and Klamath Mountains. They’re also supposed to have been discovered in the North Cast Ranges, and early explorers reported seeing them in the Central Valley and Coastal Ranges.

Humans were pushed out of the state as they began to settle. They were virtually gone by the 1920s. This changed in 2011 when OR7, a lone male, arrived in the state. More have arrived since then. This is a condensed version of the information.

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