LEBEC, Calif. (KION) The gray wolf that passed by Monterey County in April was found dead in Kern County, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
After a full investigation, the CDFW found that the gray wolf, OR93, was hit by a vehicle.
According the CDFW, a truck driver called the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife after seeing a wolf dead along a dirt trail near the road running parallel to the I-5. A CDFW warden was sent to the scene to pick up the carcass and identified the OR93 by the collar it was wearing. The carcass was the transported to a Wildlife Health Laboratory where they determined the cause of death was a vehicle strike.
According to the CDFW, young gray wolves can travel far from where they were born, like OR93's case.
OR93 traveled through California from Oregon earlier this year. It wore a collar that tracked its location and identity. The gray wolf is on the endangered species list. They used to be native to California, but the CDFW said they were wiped out from the area back in the 1920s.
According to the CDFW, the last documented wolf that traveled as far south as OR93 was found in San Bernardino County in 1922. The CDFW had also told KION that they haven't seen a gray wolf travel that is as far south into their historic habitat since one returned back in 2011.
Even though gray wolfs are generally much bigger than coyotoes, the CDFW encourages people to review the differences and report any wolf sighting to the CDFW here.