Journey of rare gray wolf from Oregon hundreds of miles into California sparks hope for resurgence of the species

California
The gray wolf known as OR-93 is seen in a photo distributed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The gray wolf known as OR-93 is seen in a photo distributed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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It’s a California odyssey that has riveted wolf-lovers and haters alike.

In what appears to be an epic search for territory and mates, a gray wolf from Oregon has ventured hundreds of miles into California, farther than any other wolf in modern times. In just under two months, the young male known as OR-93 has blazed a scented trail past Northern California lava beds, over snowy passes of the Sierra Nevada, and along the outskirts of Yosemite National Park. This week, OR-93 emerged in an agricultural area near Fresno.

Its lengthy journey has upended all scientific assumptions on wolf dispersal patterns — including computer-modeled projections. Some conservationists say they hope the wolf’s arrival presages a resurgence of the species in California. At the same time however, they acknowledge that as OR-93 presses further south, toward civilization, his journey becomes ever more perilous.

Recently, a GPS tracking collar on the almost 2-year-old wolf revealed that it had crossed Highway 99, one of Central California’s busiest and most dangerous roads.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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