The new litter has at least eight pups, bringing the pack's total 14 members. Others in the pack include a mother, father and four "subadult wolves" from the pack's prior litters.

The Lassen Wolf Pack, believed to be the only known wolf family remaining in California, gave birth to a new litter of pups for the fourth year in a row in 2020. 

The new litter has at least eight pups, bringing the pack's total 14 members. Others in the pack include a mother, father and four "subadult wolves" from the pack's prior litters. 

“These little ones give hope to everyone who wants to see wolves reestablished in the places these beautiful animals once called home," said Amaroq Weiss, a senior wolf advocate at the Center for Biological Diversity who made the announcement Monday. 

The pups' father joined the pack recently after the pack's first breeding male disappeared last summer, according to the center. The original pack father was a gray-colored wolf who hasn't been since June 2019. 

As of last fall, the pack had a breeding female, a subadult wolf from the 2018 litter and four pups from the 2019 litter. The female was seen earlier this year with a black male wolf, according to the center. 

Of this year's eight pups, at least four are males and two are females, genetic testing shows. Testing established that the black adult male wolf is the father of this latest litter. Experts are trying to determine his pack of origin, according to the center.

The Lassen pack is California's second confirmed group in nearly 100 years, according to the center. The Shasta pack, a family of seven, was confirmed in 2015 but by 2016 had "mysteriously disappeared."

The Lassen pack was first confirmed in 2017. It had four pups that year, five in 2018 and four in 2019. 

"Not all the pups have survived, and some have left the pack," read a news release from the center. "Wolves tend to stay with their birth pack the first few years of their lives before dispersing to seek mates and their own territory."

The original breeding male was a pup of the "famous wolf OR-7" who came to California from Oregon in 2011. He was the first confirmed wild wolf in the state in 87 years, according to the center. This spring, Oregon officials indicated OR-7 has likely died, as he has not been seen since October 2019. 

Matt Brannon covers politics, the criminal justice system and breaking news for the Record Searchlight.