Newly-released footage out of California shows a wild wolf stepping into the frame and howling for the camera. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) released the video—which has been viewed more than 27,000 times on the department’s Youtube page—back on Jan. 23. It was recorded last fall in the Sequoia National Forest. The wolves are a new pack in California, discovered in Tulare County in the summer of 2023.
The pack’s range is near the Tule River Tribe of California reservation. The tribe named the new pack Yowlumni, which translates to wolf tongue. “[My mother Agnes] was the last fluent speaker of Yowlumni until her passing in 2010,” Vernon Vera, a Tule River tribal elder, told CDFW. “She taught that the Yowlumni were speakers of the wolf tongue.”
The Yowlumni pack is one of four new wolf packs discovered in California just last year, bringing the state pack total to eight since the first pack appeared in 2015. Packs usually range in size from two to twelve. The Yowlumni pack consists of at least one female and four offspring and is documented as the pack with the farthest southerly range so far in the Golden State.
Wolves wandered into California on their own from neighboring from Oregon. According to CDFW, they’re considered a recovering endangered species, and they’re are protected under the California Endangered Species Acts (CESA) as well as the federal Endangered Species Act. “The department strives to conserve gray wolf populations for their ecological and intrinsic values,” reads a statement on the CDFW website, “and closely monitors our overall wolf population … for conservation and research, management and conflict mitigation.”