After years of fruitless searching in southern Oregon and northern California, the wolf known as Journey or OR-7 has partnered up. It's not a sure thing, but according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, remote cameras in the Cascade Mountains of southwest Oregon captured what appears to be a female wolf, roaming close to Journey's current location. The same cameras recently snapped pictures of Journey himself.
According to the press release:
"This information is not definitive, but it is likely that this new wolf and OR7 have paired up. More localized GPS collar data from OR7 is an indicator that they may have denned," said John Stephenson, Service wolf biologist. "If that is correct, they would be rearing pus at this time of year."
The Service and ODFW probably won't be able to confirm the presence of pups until June or later, the earliest pup surveys are conducted, so as not to disturb them at such a young age. Wolf pups are generally born in mid-April, so any pups would be less than a month old at this time.
It's a big step for a wolf who traveled over 1,000 miles to look for a mate in an area where wolves were systematically slaughtered and eradicated in the 20th century. Here's to hoping that the remote camera catches some images of Journey's wolf pups soon!