Elk Blamed for Oregon Horse Death

While wildlife authorities believe an elk is responsible, some ranchers maintain that the animal was attacked by a wolf.

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Oregon wildlife authorities believe that an elk is responsible for the death of a horse in Wallowa County, but some ranchers maintain that the animal was attacked by a wolf instead.

An Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) livestock depredation investigation report indicated that elk hunters discovered a 12-year-old gelding dead in a pasture on private property.

“We got the call as a wolf attack,” said Michelle Dennehy, ODFW wildlife communication coordinator.

A subsequent investigation revealed that the animal had sustained a stab wound in the left groin area that had ruptured a major blood vessel. Ultimately, the horse had died of internal blood loss due to that single wound, the report said. In addition, scrape marks on the animal’s side above the groin and elk tracks found at the site suggested that the horse had been gored by a bull elk

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Written by:

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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