After OR-7 took up with a lady wolf, the two became a hot item, at least among wildlife watchers. And now, the duo have become parents. These are the first pups to be born in the Oregon Cascades since the 1940s.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Pacific released photos earlier today of the pups, although officials aren't sure exactly how many little balls of fluff Mama and Papa Wolf welcomed into the world.
This kind of news is probably the biggest (or the best) distraction in the OPB newsroom -- we went from cooing over the photos to thinking up names for the little guys.
Depending on how many pups there are, we're thinking: Counties that OR-7 trekked through (Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Harney); unused bridge names (Abigail Scott Duniway, Wy'East, Cascadia ... Maybe Lisa Simpson?); OR-7 2.0, 2.1, 2.3.
OR-7's journey to fatherhood has captured a worldwide audience -- the wolf broke away from his pack in Northeast Oregon in 2011 and covered 1,200 miles across the state and into Northern California. When he crossed the border, OR-7 became the first known, free-roaming wolf in California since the 1920s.
Back in March, the fish and wildlife service thought the wolf would never meet his mate and officials said they would allow his GPS tracking collar to expire. But now that OR-7 has made his own little wolfpack, Elizabeth Materna, a spokeswoman for U.S. Fish & Wildlife, says the department will collar at least one in the group. She says that OR-7 will likely be re-collared, and maybe one of the pups, to monitor the pack's movement.
OR-7 and his lady friend seem to have made a home in Southwest Oregon.
This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.