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State-hired hunter kills breeding female of the Huckleberry Pack of wolves

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SPOKANE, Washington — That wolf killed by a state-hired hunter last month turned out to be the breeding female of the Huckleberry Pack.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife this week confirmed that the alpha female of the pack, which had been attacking sheep in Stevens County, was shot Aug. 23 from a helicopter.

A rancher has finished moving sheep away from the site where a pack of six to 12 wolves has killed at least 24 of the animals since mid-August.

At the height of the attacks, the agency authorized the removal of up to four members of the pack.

Wildlife officials tried to target younger wolves, but the state veterinarian confirmed the lone wolf killed was a 3-year-old breeding female.

Wolves, hunted to extinction a century ago, began returning in the early 2000s.

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