Officials are not certain whether the animal that killed three calves south of Ashton the evening of Friday, April 24 was a wolf or a large domestic dog.
One fact is certain; some type of large canid killed three calves.
"I think it is important for everyone to realize that anytime an incident occurs that could be related to wolves that it will be investigated thoroughly," Regional Supervisor Steve Schmidt said.
While wolves are known to prey on livestock, federal and state statistics show that several hundred livestock in Idaho are killed each year by domestic dogs allowed to run loose.
The livestock owner contacted a senior conservation officer with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to investigate the incident. The officer in turn contacted the local agent of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services.
The investigation confirmed that a single track of a lone, large dog-like animal belonged to the animal responsible for killing the calves. A trap was set near the remains of some of the calves, in hope of catching the culprit returning to the scene.
The first night, a large gray malamute dog was captured at the scene. No other animals were caught in the trap the following two nights.
Officials cannot confirm that this domestic dog, which had been allowed to run loose, killed these calves. But a neighbor reported that he had shot at the same gray malamute that had been chasing his livestock earlier on the same night the three calves were killed.
To help keep track of changing wolf populations Idaho Fish and Game has created a place on its Internet site where people can learn more about wolves and report wolf sightings: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/wildlife/wolves/.