Posted in: Animal News

Washington State Gray Wolf Pack Culled By Sharpshooters

Washington State Wolf Pack Killed

A Washington state gray wolf pack has been culled by sharpshooters, who used a GPS collar attached to the alpha male to track the pack in a helicopter.

The chase began on Thursday, where state wildlife officials used a helicopter to track down and kill the members of the Wedge Wolf Pack in northeast Washington State, reports Northwest Cable News.

After most, if not all, of his followers were killed, the sharpshooters took out the alpha male. State Fish and Wildlife Director Phil Anderson said that the decision to cull the gray wolf pack was the hardest decision he has made both professionally and personally. Anderson stated:

“Going out there and killing wildlife is not what this agency is all about.”

But Anderson believes he had no choice in the matter, a belief that experts and wildlife activists reluctantly shared. The pack was officially designated just three months ago, but quickly formed a habit of attacking livestock.

Experts advised that once wolves develop the habit of attacking livestock, it is nearly impossible to break, even if the wolf pack is relocated. The agency attempted to break the habit last month when they shot one adult member of the pack.

Unfortunately, the attacks on cattle continued, forcing the department to make the tough decision to cull the Wedge Wolf Pack. NBC News adds that Dave Ware, the department spokesman stated:

“The GPS collar on the alpha male enabled us to find the pack’s location fairly easily, although a few times the wolves were pretty inaccessible because of forest cover.”

Officials killed six wolves this week, including the alpha male and female. Because of this, if there are any survivors from the week’s shootings, they will likely not survive long, because of the deaths of the alphas.

Gray wolves used to freely roam Washington state, but they were driven close to extinction by settlers 100 years ago. So far in their reclamation efforts, seven wolf packs have been established in Washington and neighboring states, all of whom live without attacking cattle.

Officials expect that new wolves will move into the Wedge pack’s former area, because it has plenty of wildlife for them to hunt.

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Comments

6 Responses to “Washington State Gray Wolf Pack Culled By Sharpshooters”

  1. Cynthia Lewis

    Absolutely vicious! We have people in authority whose solution for everything is KILL. It is NOT true that all environmentalists agree with this decision. Not enough was tried here: the ranchers should be required to do a better job of protecting their herds, and if that failed, then the wolves should be placed in a reserve where they are allowed to live out their natural lives without access to live stock. Shooting beautiful, healthy endangered wild animals from helicopters is the action of BARBARIANS, period.

  2. Melissa Stusinski

    I agree, they didn't do enough. The ranchers in this case did not help the Department enough in their quest to resolve the livestock problem without killing the wolves. They probably don't have enough money to run a wolf preserve, unfortunately, because that costs money to put together and maintain. They have to put wildlife inside the wolves' cages (while they may be seven miles or so of land, it is still a cage). :/ They could have done more, if the rancher cooperated.

  3. Dolores Chastain

    This is so disgusting. There are so many people who enjoy killing animals. I know these people did not spend one moment trying to find a solution to protect the cattle and save the lives of these beautiful wolves. I wish with all my heart that people could realize the closet you will ever be to God, is when you do good things for those who are innocent and helpless, if it is an animal or a person instead of hurting or killing.

  4. Christine Genthe

    Absolutely barbaric and cruel and disgusting. They use those GPS devices to murder them later.