By CBSLA Staff

VENTURA (CBSLA) — A male gray wolf believed to have been born in Oregon may have made it all the way to Ventura County, according to California Fish & Wildlife officials.

(credit: California Department Of Fish & Wildlife)

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Between Sept. 20 and 26, three sightings of a gray wolf with a purple collar in northern Ventura County have been reported to Fish & Wildlife, whose staff confirmed recent wolf tracks in the vicinity.

Gray wolves are listed as endangered in California, so the wolf in question is believed to be OR-93, who was born in 2019 fitted with a purple tracking collar by Oregon’s Fish & Wildlife officials in June 2020. OR-93’s collar stopped transmitting in April of this year, but while it was working, authorities tracked him entering Modoc County, at the northern border of California, and making his way into Fresno County by late March. His last collar transmission was from San Luis Obispo County on April 5.

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The collar transmission indicates that OR-93 traveled at least 935 air miles in California, a minimum average of 16 air miles per day, according to Fish & Wildlife officials.

Trail camera video on May 15 captured a collared gray wolf in southwest Kern County, which was not checked until August, officials said.

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Wolves pose very little safety risk to humans, but can be confused with coyotes. Fish & Wildlife officials say gray wolves are generally much bigger than coyotes, and it is against the law to harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, or capture one. Sightings of a gray wolf can be reported online to the CDFW.