Eighty-eight years after the last gray wolf in California was killed, a young male has crossed into the state from Oregon, igniting much teeth-gnashing among ranchers, optimism among conservationists, and new headaches for state officials. The wolf, dubbed OR7 by biologists, was tracked by his GPS collar as he crossed into California on Dec. 28. He was born into an Oregon pack originally from Idaho, where federal wildlife biologists reintroduced the species in the mid-1990s.

“It wasn’t a huge surprise to us, we knew it was going to happen, we just didn’t know when,” says Jordan Traverso of the California Department of Fish and Game in Sacramento