Sunday, April 13, 2008

Grey Wolf

Yellowstone Wolf, originally uploaded by

Hunters in Wyoming have started to kill wolves. The New York Times has an article about public opinion.

Pro-wolf forces, meanwhile, say that wolf killers may have created a martyr. On the first day protections were lifted, a partly crippled and much photographed radio-collared wolf named 253M was legally shot near the town of Daniel in western Wyoming.

The killing made headlines as far away as Utah, where 253M had wandered in 2002, before being transported back to Wyoming. A story in The Salt Lake Tribune quoted a woman as saying she had wept at the news of the animal’s death.

Responding to what it says are numerous public inquiries, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department began a weekly wolf update on its Web site, starting on April 4.

“We’re hearing a lot, from all sectors of the public,” said a spokesman, Eric Keszler. “Some want no wolves to be killed — others ask where the trophy game area is going to be.”

Wyoming, Montana and Idaho plan their first wolf trophy hunting seasons this fall. About 1,500 wolves inhabit the three states, most of them descended from 66 wolves introduced into Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho in the mid-1990s.

State management plans allow for wolf hunting — or in some places, outright eradication — with a target population of 150 in each of the three states.

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