To The Editor:
The July 24 edition of the Gazette reported on the tragic
death of an endangered grizzly bear cub in a trap set for wolves north
of Cody, Wyoming.
The Fish and Wildlife Service set the snares in an attempt
to catch wolves who were preying on livestock. Rather than solve the
problem of wolf predation non-violently, Fish and Wildlife resorted to the
easy way out - setting snares. On behalf of our more than 100,000 members
and supporters nationwide, Wildlife Watch, Inc. urges the Fish and
Wildlife Service to employ exclusively non-violent methods of wolf control in
areas in need of such a service.
Wolves have long been unfairly stigmatized as
blood-thirsty killing machines. Wolves do not fit any of the terrible
stereotypes attached to them, and their gentle temperament complex social
structure are deserving of our respect and admiration. Given that this is the case,
one or more of several effective solutions to wolf predation should be
employed by the Fish and Wildlife Service.
According to the Canadian Federation of Agriculture,
electric fences, guard dogs, llamas and donkeys can be used effectively to
prevent wolf attacks.
Llamas can easily scare off wolves and will prevent
attacks by positioning themselves between the wolves and livestock. Donkeys can
also keep wolves at bay. Donkeys dislike dogs, coyotes, foxes and wolves
and their loud braying, baring of teeth, kicking and biting, will be
effective in causing wolves to look elsewhere for a meal.
Snares are indiscriminate and will kill any animal
unfortunate enough to become entangled in one. Snare stops do not prevent this
killing because if a stop is set to hold a wolf, any animal with a larger
neck, such as an endangered grizzly bear cub, will loose their life to a
Clearly, non-violent solutions to wolf predation exist. We
encourage ranchers, the Fish and Wildlife Service, everyone else to
explore these options and implement them where needed. Peaceful
co-existence with wildlife is preferable to violent eradication programs.
Wildlife Watch, Inc.