A gray wolf who became famous for traveling thousands of miles across the United States died after being run over this month in Californiawildlife officials said Wednesday.
Chain NBC News explained that the wolf, known as OR93, was found dead by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife on Interstate 5 about 90 miles north of Los Angeles near the city of Lebec.
Officials believe it was an accident.
The OR93 wolf was born in northern Oregon in 2019. He became the most famous wolf in the United States after, thanks to a radio collar, the “epic” trips made by the animal were traced. From Oregon it came to the central coast of California, the first wolf to be reported from that area in a century.
“I am devastated to learn of the death of this extraordinary wolf,” Amaroq Weiss, an advocate for the Center for Biological Diversity, a nonprofit organization, said in a statement. “His epic trips to California inspired the world. In this annual time of reflection, I thank you for the hope you gave us and for a brief look at what it would be like for wolves to roam free and in the wild. “
By April, OR93 had arrived in California’s San Luis Obispo County, nearly 1,000 miles (1,609 km) south of his birthplace. The middle San Francisco Chronicle He was the one who made the anniversary famous, by narrating his journey “Young wandering gray wolf” who was “probably looking for love” and eluded wildlife officials while doing so.
In his search for a mate, Weiss said, OR93 was caught on a surveillance camera even further south, in Kern County, where he was eventually found dead. In September, he had been seen in northern Ventura County.
The last time a wolf was documented in extreme southern California was in 1922wildlife officials told NBC, when one was spotted in San Bernardino County.
“I always knew that the chances of him finding another wolf on the Central Coast were slim or nil, but his incessant wanderings in search of a kindred spirit connected him with the hearts of many”, Weiss said. “He will not be forgotten, and we will honor his memory by continuing to fight for the safety of wolves everywhere.”
Gray wolves, who are California natives, were hunted a century ago almost to extinction. About 20 are currently believed to now live in two northern counties, Weiss said.
Weiss pointed to OR93’s death as a reminder of the impact of development and expansion on native animal habitats and called for the construction of effective crossings for wildlife, including underpasses and overpasses.
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