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First Californian Gray Wolf in Nearly 80 Years Named ‘Journey’

Journey Gray Wolf
Allen Daniels / The Medford Mail Tribune

The gray wolf disappeared from California almost 80 years ago, but conservationists never stopped believin’ — so it’s only appropriate that the return of the species to that state should begin with a wolf named Journey.

That’s the name chosen in a contest for a wolf that traveled — OK, journeyed — 800 miles from Oregon to become the first of his kind to visit the state since 1924. It’s definitely a catchier name than OR7, which is what the scientists who tagged him in Oregon called him.

But after he made the trek across the California border, the conservation group Portland Wild decided a naming contest was in order. “We figured OR-7 needed a legitimate name,” said Sean Stevens of Portland Wild, joking that “a celebrity of his status needed to be know by a name other than one ascribed by the collar around his neck.”

The winning entry ultimately came from a pair of voters — an 11-year-old from North Dakota and a 7-year-old from Idaho. Think they both own a copy of Journey’s ‘Greatest Hits’? Decide while you watch Brian Williams of NBC News talk about Journey’s, um, voyages in this recent segment.

In other Journey news, former vocalist Steve Perry recently explained his views on ‘Don’t Stop Believin”s recently uncovered lyrical “mistake” — as in, the fact that there’s no such place as “South Detroit.”

Learn About the Grey Wolf Named ‘Journey’

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