Posted tagged ‘wolf killings set to expand’

Big Bad Wolf?

September 18, 2010

– – Ah me…as if Sarah Palin shooting wolves from aircraft wasn’t enough, government agencies are seeking broad new authority to ramp up killings and removal of gray wolves in the northern Rockies and Great Lakes, despite two recent court actions that restored the animal’s endangered status in every state except Alaska and Minnesota…

Although once poisoned to near-extermination in the lower 48 states, wolves have made a major comeback in the last two decades under the protection of the Endangered Species Act.  A backlash has occurred, however, as wolf packs have developed a taste for livestock and big game herds coveted by hunters.

As wolf populations have expanded in numerous states, they tend to push into agricultural and residential areas where domestic animals offer an easy meal.  Various proposals would gas wolf pups in their dens, surgically sterilize adult wolves, and allow “conservation” or “research” hunts to drive down the predators’ numbers.

Wildlife advocates and animal rights groups contend, however, that the response to depredating wolves has become too heavy-handed, and that a string of court decisions in their favor underscores that the species remains at risk…