Idaho closes wolf death investigation
by Idaho Fish and Game press release
December 10, 2009
The Idaho Fish and Game has concluded its investigation into the deaths of six juvenile wolves on national forest land north of Fairfield.
Fish and Game conservation officers found the partially decomposed wolves on Friday, August 21. Necropsies have been performed. But the cause of death remains undetermined.
The necropsy analysis done by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wildlife forensic laboratory in Ashland, Ore., did not find evidence of poison. The wolves were not shot or otherwise physically injured.
Tissue samples tested positive for canine parvo virus, but the results were inconclusive. Other clinical signs of canine parvoviral enteritis, such as vomiting and diarrhea, were not found.
Parvo virus is highly contagious and can persist in a contaminated area for five months or more. The infection is often fatal in canids, including wolves. Pups between six weeks and six months are more susceptible than adults.
At the time of their death, the wolves had otherwise been in good nutritional condition and showed no evidence of physical injury or struggle. They were found in a remote area within 400 yards of each other in various stages of decomposition, and all six died within a few days of each other.
An adult female with a radio collar was located in the area and observed on September 3. She appeared to be in good physical condition.
The criminal investigation is closed.