A wolf family in Oregon has lost 2 of their number after officials decided that they were a threat to local cattle herds.The Harl Butte pack has been reduced after the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) agreed to kill 2 adult pack members.Local cattle ranchers in Wallowa County, where the pack lives, asked for the wolves be killed after there were 7 attacks on their livestock in the past 13 months, 3 of which were fatal.
Source: Oregon Wild
The ranchers had asked for the entire pack to be 'removed', but this was denied, as the ODFW wanted to try a more gentle approach, by offering the wolves a chance to change their behavior or move out of the area themselves.The 2 wolves were reported to have been killed within a week of the first announcement, after the department said that non-lethal measures hadn't worked.However, only days after the animals' deaths, ODFW has made a second announcement stating that, since the wolf pack was larger than they had originally thought (8 adults and 3 pups) and because they had tried to hunt more cattle, the department would shoot another 2 wolves.
Many people in the wildlife conservation community think that the wolves are being treated unfairly. At this time of year, wolf packs are usually focused on feeding their pups and can't roam around to find food as they do during the rest of the year as the new pack members are too young.What's more, although wolves are no longer on Oregon's endangered species list, they were only taken off in 2015 and, according to the Oregon Wild organisation, there are only 109 known adult wolves in the state - less than the number recorded in 2016.Wolves remain an endangered species in many other states.
As Brooks Fahy, the executive director of the Predator Defense organisation explained to The Dodo:
The wolves have young pups and are not able to travel great distances for food. Their only choice then is to prey on livestock [...] To give cattle priority over the recovering wolf population is the definition of insanity.
You can contact governor Kate Brown to advocate for remaining and future pack members here. The Oregon Wild organisation has put together a sample script of what you can send to the governor, if you don't know what to write.
H/t: The Dodo
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