State wildlife staff kill 2 wolves in northeast Washington

REPUBLIC, Wash. -- State helicopter gunners have shot and killed two adult female wolves in northeastern Washington and efforts to remove wolves are continuing.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said in an email Thursday that staff killed the predators, including this year's breeding female, on Aug. 5. Operations continue but the agency is not releasing details as a safety precaution.

Department Director Jim Unsworth on Aug. 3 authorized the removal of some members of the Profanity Peak pack that roam Ferry County after staff confirmed several livestock attacks by the wolves this year.

This is the third time the state has killed wolves since they began recolonizing Washington a decade ago. Wolves are making a comeback but remain an endangered species under state law.

The state's wolf management plan allows the removal of wolves under certain conditions as the state tries to balance wolf recovery with potential conflicts with people, livestock and wildlife.