PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) — Authorities say a horse believed to have been killed by wolves in rural Wallowa County was actually gored by a bull elk.
The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife says the horse, found dead Sept. 18 in a pasture along the upper Imnaha River, had wounds matching the size and space of elk antlers. The animal had no wolf bite marks. Officials also said they identified elk tracks near where the horse was found, but no wolf tracks.
When the horse turned up dead, wolves were the primary target of the investigation.
The East Oregonian reports local ranchers disagree with the announcement and still blame wolves for the horse’s death.
District wildlife biologist Mike Hansens said elk bulls are aggressive this time of the year, because it’s breeding season.
Information from: East Oregonian, http://www.eastoregonian.com