The first wolf attack in Plumas County was confirmed by California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Witnesses at the scene say it was the local wolf pack that mauled the calf that was subsequently euthanized.
The attack occurred in Taylorsville on North Arm Road at the Metcalf Ranch on the night of April 1. The first witness to the scene was local wolf enthusiast Van Probst who heard commotion and bawling at the neighboring ranch. He said he hopped in his truck at about 9 p.m. with his spotlight. When he got to the cattle he saw three wolves near the herd and could hear the cries of a distressed calf.
He alerted the ranchers who contacted CDFW Wolf Biologist Kent Laudon. The next morning the calf was still alive, but had sustained injuries consistent with those of wolf attacks, which included injuries on its hind end and neck. The ranchers decided to euthanize the calf, and Laudon collected DNA samples off the animal to determine whether it was wolves that attacked.
The results of that DNA test confirmed that it was a wolf attack.
Members of the Plumas County Fish and Wildlife Commission responded to the attack at their regular board meeting on April 5.
Commissioner Bob Orange said the incident occurred across the street from his house and he confirmed Probst’s story.
“They are not leaving,” said Orange. “They have been [in North Arm] for about three months.”
“They are going to kill cows, and they are going to kill people’s dogs and people are going to get upset,” said a commissioner from Portola, Dan Seiler. “[Indian Valley] is one of the most game-rich corners of the county… [the attack] is no surprise.”
Laudon will present on the wolf issue at the next Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting Thursday, May 3, 7 p.m., at the Veterans Hall in Quincy and members of the public are welcome to attend.