Bears and Alligators Environment Wolves

Killing Wolves


I’ve been monitoring this issue with a sinking heart.
And now it appears that worst fears are well on their way to coming true.

The gray wolves of the Northern Rocky Mountains were taken off the Endangered Species list on March 28, because their numbers across Idaho, Wyoming and Montana had reached around 1500. In the month since the ban on shooting wolves was lifted, 35 wolves have been shot. (And we’re not talking about ranchers protecting livestock here. Nearly all of the wolf deaths were caused by plain old hunting.)

Take for example the three-legged male
Yellowstone wolf known as 253M and nicknamed “Liimpy”, a creature with a dark black coat and an off-kilter gait who used to delight tourists and locals with frequent glimpses. He was arguably the best known wild wolf in north America (Tales of his meanderings often turned up on local papers.)…and he was killed the first day the ban was lifted.

In response to the rush to shoot wolves, a consortium of 12 environmental groups filed a lawsuit on Monday in the hope of halting the killing.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Missoula, Montana,
asks for reinstated protection for gray wolves in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

As regular readers know, I have personal emotions tied up in the issue. I’ve tracked wolves in the wild with biologists, have a beautiful wolf hybrid dog named Loup-Loup, and give dog cookies to the neighbors’ two gorgeous nearly full blooded wolves when they come to my back door on mornings when I’m at home working. Yet, the fact that I like wolves doesn’t impair reason.

I’ve outlined the issue in more detail here
. But this morning’s LA Times has a good editorial on how the wolf policy is going off the rails and what ought to be done to fix it. Here’s an excerpt.

The gray wolf of the northern Rockies was ready for delisting.
[NOTE: I don’t think so but honorable people could honorably disagree on this issue.] The population exceeded all goals for the program, and species should not be kept on a lifeline forever, if at all possible. But the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was remiss in this case, primarily because it failed to ensure that state regulations for the wolves would protect them. Obviously, with more than 2% of the population killed within a month, existing state management plans are inadequate.

Some residents of the three states
— ranchers, hunters and people who just don’t like wolves — have been waiting for this chance. Protecting livestock is one thing, but hunters have been complaining that the wolves keep down the population of elk, which they would like to hunt themselves. Yet part of the reasoning for reintroducing the wolf was to restore the natural balance in which animal predators kept the populations of elk and deer in check.

The federal government will not intervene again
on the wolves’ behalf until their numbers fall as low as 300. Taxpayers will then bear the burden of re-listing the wolves. That’s partly why environmentalists have gone to court over the delisting.

The Fish and Wildlife Service should re-list the wolves
until it receives more reasonable management plans from the states involved, and should demand that the population fall no lower than 1,000. The wolves weren’t reintroduced to provide target practice for hunters.


  • To draw a parallel to our area, yesterday I saw a fox and a coyote wandering around independently. I’ll accept foxes, because I don’t own any chickens, but I don’t want coyotes around here. They kill defenseless pets, attack game animals that people kill for food, bother livestock, and threaten kids. They have no fear of man and just wander around the neighborhoods. I’d just as soon see them killed or removed as I would mosquitoes.

    It’s not that people “don’t like” certain animals, to use your phrase, but people want to protect their personal interests by controlling predators in the wild. They’re no different than the Sierra Club that puts its interests above people.

  • Nobody’s arguing about controlling predators. We can all understand that. (And “don’t like” is the LA Times phrase.)

    Rare for coyotes to threaten kids, BTW. However there IS a coyote that for three out of the last seven nights has come up our front stairs and heisted Loup-Loup’s food bowl from the front porch while she’s asleep . (She’s fourteen and still jogs two or three miles with me, but her hearing’s not what it used to be and she sleeps deeply, like an old lady.)

    I couldn’t freaking believe it. But I actually saw the critter one of the nights when I heard the commotion and ran out. I assumed it was a neighbor dog, but nope. It’s a coyote. He/she always drops the food bowl on the lawn after snapping up a few bites of the leftover kibble.

    Last night I brought Loup-Loup AND the food bowl in early.

    Hey, coyotes snatch cats in Topanga if one isn’t really careful, but we like ’em anyway. They’re cool creatures.

    And they sing.

  • I dont think any of that is true, Polar bears probably would hate us if they knew wat was going on, We r starting global warming and drownding the polar bears…..I cried when I heard about it:-< I dont know why u would feel this way about any animal!! Well now the feeling is mutual!!! Me and the polar bears hate u to!!:-< 🙁 :{ :[

  • I seriously dont understand why anyone would wish to harm a living animal for doing what its genetic makeup tells it to do. The wolves need to eat just as much as we do and killing them for doing something that they cant help but do is a sick excuse. The wolves are a beautiful and majestic creature and it is morbid for anyone to use them as sport. Just because they are taking your oh so special elk population down to reasonable levels does give a person the right to take them down to endangered levels. Some people need to realize that killing any animal for just plain sport should be a crime that is up there with murder. I can understand hunting for food that people so desperately need but hunting for sport and something to solely use as decoration is ridiculous. People may think that the wolves are taking down their precious elk population but Im sure there is enough to go around. I am not an animal activist nor am I big supporter for PITA but i think hunting wolves is absolute carnage and anyone doing so should be shot without warning. People think that killing wolves because they are taking your game kills away is just? Well I believe it would be just to shoot those bastards for taking the beauty from this world.

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