A Boise-area sheep rancher says a wolf killed his border collie in the Boise foothills earlier this month. Rancher Frank Shirts says a wolf killed one of his herding dogs on May 8 in the upper Hulls Gulch area of the foothills.
It's the first wolf-related problem Shirts' herd has encountered since 2010.
"I thought people would like to know," Shirts said.
Todd Grimm, the Idaho director of USDA Wildlife Services, confirmed the dog was killed by a wolf. He says trauma and bite marks support that conclusion.
According to a release issued by the Idaho Rangeland Resources Commission, wolves have been threatening sheep herds in the foothills recently. Ranchers have fired warning shots from rifles to keep the predators at bay.
"As long as the wolves are around, we're going to have this problem," Shirts said.
In 2010, Shirts lost 11 sheep to wolves. At the time, wildlife officials confirmed the deaths of eight lambs and three ewes were caused by wolves.
Ranchers have seen at least four wolves in the area in recent weeks. Grimm says he's not sure if a wolf pack is forming there or not.
Wildlife Services has been using a helicopter to try and locate wolves in the foothills. Grimm says they haven’t located any yet, but that personnel on the helicopter are carrying a shotgun and plan to kill wolves found in the area.
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