When the Smackout Pack was confirmed in NE Washington in 2011 there were 5 pack members recorded. By 2013 the pack had 12 members. Gray wolves from the Smackout Pack dispersed and formed three new packs – the Dirty Shirt, Carpenter Ridge and Ruby Creek (details below) packs. There has been speculation that the Ruby Creek Pack split up due to the loss of the breeding adult male in 2014 when he was killed by a cougar.
The state wildlife agency killed two members of the pack in 2017 after the pack was involved in livestock predation.
The pack was implicated in a few livestock predations in mid-2018, and an adult male was killed by the state wildlife agency in November 2018. At the time, the pack had 4-5 adult wolves and no known pups.
At the end of 2018, the pack had a minimum number of 4 wolves, but was not counted as a successful breeding pair for the year.
During the winter population survey in January 2020, state biologists collared a pack member. The survey detected 4 pack members and confirmed successful breeding for 2019. A three-year old adult female wolf was collared in February 2020.
Current numbers: 4
Pack status: Designated in 2011.
Ruby Creek Pack: On March 9, 2014 it was confirmed that the Ruby Creek Pack had been formed by two female wolves that split off from the Smackout Pack in northeast Washington. During the following winter one of the female wolves mated with a domestic dog. She was captured, spayed, and returned to the wild. That spring she was struck and killed by a motor vehicle.
The remaining member of the Ruby Creek Pack became known as Ione, after the town that she was living close to. The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife became concerned that Ione was becoming habituated to people. On February 11th, 2015 Ione was tranqulized and transported to Wolf Haven Sanctuary, where she currently resides. Ione shares an enclosure with male wolfdog Luca and the two seem very attached to one another.
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