Wolf encounter leads to helicopter rescue

WINTHROP – A research student called Okanogan County dispatch to report that she was 30 feet up a tree surrounded by wolves near the Tiffany Spring Campground, 20 mile Meadows in the Pasayten Wilderness of the North Cascades.

The call came in around 12:30 p.m. Thursday, July 12 and the sheriff’s department dispatched deputies and Okanogan County Search and Rescue personnel responded as well, according to Sheriff Frank Rogers.

“The information we received was that she was 30 feet up a tree with a pack of wolves surrounding it,” said Sheriff Rogers. “The deputies were advised that if they arrived on the scene and the wolves were still surrounding the female they were to shoot the wolves on sight.”

The state Department of Natural Resources was notified and advised they would be sending a helicopter to the site where the student was, about 26.5 miles northeast of Winthrop in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Dispatch reported that as the helicopter flew into the area the DNR advised there were wolves on the ground.

“The helicopter was able to land and rescue the student,” said Rogers. “This area is extremely popular for those who recreate in the summer; there are several campgrounds, high mountain lakes, and trails that are used.”

Rogers said his office is responsible for the safety of those living and those who recreate in this county and will do a thorough investigation to get answers of what may have happened.

“We don’t know if it was a den or a possible kill site but we would like to know if there is a possible threat or danger to those who utilize these recreational areas. We are concerned that some may not be prepared for or even know of the possible encounters with wolves, which may result in the danger to human life,” the sheriff said. “If these types of situations are going to become a common occurrence, we would like to be prepared for potential encounters in the future.”

See also:

Lands Commissioner applauds DNR helicopter crew on yesterday’s wolves mission