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California Considers Protecting Rare Gray Wolf

A Mexican Gray Wolf.
Photo courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
A Mexican Gray Wolf.

FRESNO, Calif. — A state board will consider granting the gray wolf endangered species status, giving it a chance at returning to California in significant numbers after a decades-long hiatus.

The California Fish and Game Commission at a meeting Wednesday in Ventura will vote on giving the wolf legal protections.

Just one wolf from Oregon has been tracked in recent years crossing into Northern California, renewing interest in returning the species to a thriving population.

Advocates are hopeful for the wolf's return, but ranchers remain opposed to reintroduction.

The last gray wolf in California was killed off in 1924, clearing mountain ranges for cattle herds and other valuable livestock that fall prey to wolves.