An entire pack is being killed by the very government that protects them.
In an all-too-familiar decision to protect commercial interests, Washington state has decided to kill an entire pack of endangered gray wolves.
Earlier this month, five cows were found dead or injured after the wolves breached their enclosure. The initial decision to deal with this problem was to engage in a “partial pack removal,” in which they wound up killing two breeding females from the pack. This is already highly inhumane because it completely ruins the dynamic of the pack and, besides the physical pain caused in their deaths, it emotionally damages the rest of the wolves.
The state then called off the rest of the killings because the attacks on the cows appeared to stop, but a few weeks later, the attacks resumed and the number of killed or injured cows rose to 12. Although it’s extremely sad that any animal has been injured in these incidents, it’s no excuse to turn against the wolves that the very law protects.
Now that more cows have been injured, the state went from a partial pack removal to removing the entire pack. Donny Martorello, the director of wolf policy at the Department of Fish and Wildlife, said,
“The department is committed to wolf recovery, but we also have a shared responsibility to protect livestock from repeated depredation by wolves.”
The gray wolf has become nearly extinct in Western Europe, Mexico, and the United States for several reasons all dealing with human intervention. Their habitat worldwide has been reduced to just one-third of its original size, making it inevitable that the wolves would come in contact with humans and their livestock.
As the American demand for meat grew, and livestock became precious in the 19th and 20th centuries, wolves began to be shot by the tens of thousands until the federal government stepped in. The wolves were added to the Endangered Species List, which makes it illegal for them to be killed by a regular citizen, but the law does not mandate that the government can’t kill them.
The government that gave them protection against humans and their greedy interests is now the one executing them.
The 11 members of the pack, called the Profanity Peak Pack, are down to a mere 5 members. Since the original two that were killed by the government, there have since been four more that were executed, including one pup. The remaining five have yet to be located.
You can sign this petition to add your voice to those against this killing, and you can take the advice of Shawn Cantrell, Northwest program director for Defenders of Wildlife, an organization that is highly in favor of the preservation of wolves:
“Removing members of the Profanity Peak wolf pack is a loss to wolf recovery efforts in the region. The best thing to do is to learn from this sad outcome and redouble our collective efforts to proactively prevent future livestock-wolf conflicts.”
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