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Scientists Mourn Popular Wolf Shot By A Hunter

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posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 02:39 AM
I drove through Yellowstone this summer and was blown away by the beauty of the place - but I was saddened by what I thought was a parade of tourism that just ruined it for me. There was a steady stream of traffic and I did see a heard of "wild" buffalo grazing along the highway. There was a parking lot of cars on the side of the road as everyone who drove by (myself included) stopped to point cameras and phones at them. Obviously these animals have become desensitized to human beings, and this is a part of the problem with the wolves.

There have been a lot of individuals fighting for a cull of the wolves. The majority of which are farmers who raise cattle. It really boils down protecting property. The wolves aren't as afraid of people as they need to be because they have been protected and had access to easy food. It is not their fault that beef farming is exploding across this area. You put docile large herbivores around a cunning predator like wolves and you are going to see them proliferate and grow in population. In the past there was a limit in the natural environment and wolves would only be able to grow as did their supply of wild game.

Again sad to say that it is a man made problem here, and the growth of industry and $$$ has a major part to play in the cull of these beautiful animals. And of course, that's only my opinion...

posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 08:53 AM
Thanks, all, for your contributions.
I do understand the ranchers' concerns, however, I am appalled - like many of you - with what humans have done to the balance of this planet.

SHOULD we be ranching meat animals? I'm married to a guy who used to hunt often; rabbits, squirrels, deer; and they supplied food for the table. This sort of hunting - eating what you kill, and killing only as much as you can eat and/or store - I understand. I also understand the starvation problems of the herds/groups that are burgeoning, and as my husband says, one needs to have a profound respect for, and understanding of, any prey that is to be hunted.

I enjoy eating venison, and when I'm flush I buy bison steaks from locally-raised, grass-fed herds. I also try to buy only grass-fed beef, and while I love a good filet minion, I am sickened by the factory-farming that goes on. I can barely stand to eat chicken, and often I will stand looking at the meat section and lose my appetite entirely.

On the other hand, I was brought up on grocery-store food, and I have this strange hangup about the idea of eating wild game - I was somehow indoctrinated to believe it could be diseased or unsafe...and thus kill you. Plus, as an animal lover, I have the "romantic" notion of the individual animals' rights to life and liberty.

I did not go see Food, Inc. for that reason. I prefer fish and other seafood, and dairy and beans for my protein sources.

I just yesterday, after hearing this piece on the radio, began reading "The Life of Pi", and the opening section discussed how well-cared-for zoo animals are happier and safer with all their habitat contained in one place, free of predators, with free food and comfort they would not have in the wild. I've always been one of those types that feels sorry for zoo animals, too.

My mom has a friend who shoots prairie dogs and coyotes and even birds, like ravens, and considers them "vermin."
It makes me sick to think of hunting just for the "thrill" of killing something, however.

This discussion - and years of fence-sitting about hunting and animal rights - has helped me with balancing my point of view. Could I shoot - or trap - to kill and eat, if it was that or go hungry? I honestly don't know. Could I live without eating meat? Yes.

Double standard, and it's due to how I was raised plus my own sentimental temperament; I don't know, I just dislike how humans treat this planet and its other species. Unfortunately, many times I just try not to think about it.

posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 01:41 PM
Well, I guess the gray wolf is just too successful. Michigan populations are growing and there is a concern with farmers and they will be allowed to be hunted in Michigan soon:< br />

About 700 are believed to live in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Supporters of the bill say it's time to allow hunters and trappers to thin the population.

They say wolves are killing livestock and venturing too close to towns.

The Humane Society of the United States has said it may sue to restore federal protections.

Environmental groups and Indian tribes say more time is needed to make sure the population is secure before hunting is permitted.

posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 05:29 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

Actually one thing they have noticed in areas that have re-introduced wolves is that the areas become very healthy again. Those environments were meant to have wolves, their absence had a profound detrimental effect.

When the gray wolf was eradicated from Yellowstone National Park in the 1920s, more was lost than just the noble and fascinating predator. The park’s entire ecosystem changed. Now, nearly a dozen years since the wolves returned, the recovery of that system to its natural balance is well underway, say ecologists William Ripple and Robert Beschta of Oregon State University.
edit on 13-12-2012 by Kali74 because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 05:51 PM

Originally posted by Kali74
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

Actually one thing they have noticed in areas that have re-introduced wolves is that the areas become very healthy again. Those environments were meant to have wolves, their absence had a profound detrimental effect.

In a state park like Yellowstone where recreational hunting is not permitted you are correct Kali, however across the vast majority of everywhere else impacted by the wolves that isn't necessarily true.

Where I live, large animal herd populations have been successfully managed for decades now through seasonal hunting and as a previous poster mentioned, Coyotes have filled the vermin control part of the biological niche.

Wolves were believe to be responsible for a dramatic drop in the Southern Alaska Caribou Herd's population, which once numbered up to 10,000 in 1983, only to drop to a population of 600 animals in 2008. Wolf predation was also believed to be responsible for virtually no calves surviving for the two years prior the culling plans, despite a 70% pregnancy rate.

In the former Soviet Union, depending on the locality, a single wolf can consume 90 saiga, 50-80 wild boar or an average of 50 domestic or wild caribou annually. A pack of 2-5 wolves will often kill 2 caribou every three days.

Further reports from the former Soviet Union indicate that rather than prey on exclusively sick or infirm prey, wolves seem to attack young or pregnant animals far more frequently, regardless of their sanitary state. In the Nenetskij National Okrug, wolves were shown to select pregnant female domestic caribou and calves rather than infirm specimens, with some reports showing that wolves bypassed emaciated, sickly animals in favour of well fed ones.

Large numbers of wolves have also been blamed on the decline of critically endangered saiga antelope herds in Central Asia. During the late 1950s and early 1960s when the Soviet Union used poison to effectively bring down wolf numbers, the number, as well as the range of moose, wild boar and red deer increased.

Caspian seals were valued as fur bearers in the Soviet industry, and in a three week period in February 1978, wolves were responsible for the wanton killing of numerous seals on the Caspian sea near Astrakhan. Between 17-40% of the seals in the area were estimated to have been killed, but not eaten

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posted on Dec, 13 2012 @ 06:13 PM
I suffer from a pretty bad case of "little red riding hood syndrome" so wolves creep me out!

But, hands down this is tragic, she was a beautiful creature. I have a high degree of respect and admiration for these creatures, and a healthy dose of fear as well. I know it is an illogical fear, because wolves very rarely attack humans, but I think my fear comes from knowing my place in the natural order of things. I never underestimate anything in the natural world, I know how easily I can be taken out by it, whether it is a snake, a flash flood, or even another human.

I understand the whole concept of "balance" in the natural world, and it seems to me that the biggest culprit of messing this "balance" up is mankind. We spent far too long living "above" our environment, instead of "in" our environment, we thought with our big bad brains we could manipulate the natural world to our liking without suffering any negative effects...well, mother nature has a way of putting us in our place, and yet we still try to meddle...these wolves should have never been hunted down to the degree they were, but it happened, and then we had to "reintroduce" them into the habitat and hopefully this time they won't be over hunted.

My granddad was a wildlife biologist, and he always said that balance was key. I just hope this time they find that balance and both humans and wolves can thrive.

posted on Dec, 14 2012 @ 02:11 PM

Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
reply to post by jasonl1983

THEY had predators at one time too....they don't anymore. See? Balance... It's blown at all levels.

Wolves suffered predation to what creatures exactly? Sabre toothed cats? Extinct giant bears? There are still bears, mountain lions, wolverines, etc. just as there were when this nation was settled by Europeans. The Europeans didn't eradicate an animal that preyed upon wolves? We are that animal.

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