Endangered gray wolf that wandered 8,712 miles looking for mate or another pack found dead

Posted at 10:38 AM, Feb 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-09 10:39:26-05

An endangered gray wolf that wandered more than 8,000 miles through Northern California has died, CBS Newsstated and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced.

OR-54, a 3- to 4-year-old female with a radio tracking collar, was found dead on Wednesday in Shasta County, the agency said in a statement.

It wasn't clear yet whether the animal died from an accident or natural causes or was killed, said CBS News. State wildlife officials previously said the female wolf was "exploring new ground in search of a mate or another pack."

In December, officials said OR-54 had traveled a "minimum distance of 8,712 miles at an average of 13 miles/day" since January 23, 2018. However, the wolf's radio collar apparently stopped working in December 2019.

Fewer than a dozen wolves are now known to live in the state, according to the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity.