Wild Wolf photo, Denali National Park, Alaska.

Wild black wolf, alpha male, howling, Denali National Park, Alaska.

Hey Folks,

Well, it seems those pesky wolves are in the news up here yet again. This time it’s not the F&WS and their infinite wisdom declaring a population to be ‘experimental’, or a bunch of anti-wolf people shooting wolves from airplanes. This time, the news is about the National Park Service tracking down a wolf in Denali National Park, anesthetizing the animal, and removing a snare from its neck. You can read more about the story (the pictures are pretty gross, don’t visit these links if you might be upset by some nasty wounds on a wolf) here and the update here. Basically, 2 wolves had been trapped this past winter, and escaped, but with the snares on their necks. The snares dug in deep, and caused some ugly wounds. The park service, getting ready for the opening of the park and influx on countless visitors, has no interest in having a bunch of tourists see wolves in this condition, so they’ve been hunting high and low for these 2 wolves, to try to remove the snares. They’ve so far found one, a large grey male, and removed the snare, given him shots to protect him from further infection, and let him go again, hoping for the best. No sight of the 2nd wolf, a black one, so far.

Now, on one hand, this is great news, that they managed to remove the snare. On the other hand, it’s ugly to see images of wolves running around with snares on their necks, and to know that wolves are being trapped this way. But the point of this post is to look at Govt bureaucracy and a system that has the State-run Fish and Game Board spending countless dollars flying around Alaska shooting wolves to keep their population down while the National Park Service biologists working overtime and spend countless dollars running around the woods, flying in helicopters, etc, looking for 2 wolves in order that they might be treated for their human-inflicted wounds and live longer.

I know, I know, some people will argue ‘one agency is a function of the State Govt and the other is the federal govt’. So what? If this isn’t craziness, I don’t know what is. It’s a great example of how our ‘management ability’ isn’t always quite on par with what we’d like to think it is.

Lastly, a short comment on the radio collar you see in this image. Biologists apparently fear that wolves, with their enormous home range territories of up to 800 sq miles, might get lost, so they place these radio transmitter collars on the wolves. I wonder if the future will bring little shock collars, like people use on domestic dogs, to shock the wolves once they leave their designated territory?



5 thoughts on “Wild Wolf photo, Denali National Park, Alaska.

  1. Mark

    Wouldn’t that just put the ultimate craziness into it – an electronic fence for wolves… I absolutely hate snares and would like to set a couple hundred around the jerk’s house that continues to use them. I just don’t know much to say about this stuff anymore. People are quite ignorant in so many ways. I just got done reading about how they are hunting them down in the Northern Rockies. When will people wake up?

  2. Carl Donohue

    Hey Ron,

    if you mean ‘ironic’ like ‘stupid’, yeah, it’s ironic. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Hey Mark,

    Think of how safe the wolves would be, never getting lost out there in the wild like that. 🙂 I’m not into the snares either .. trapping in general, I just think we should move away from – I know some folks trap and make some cash off it, but I see people who make WAY more money than I do, out trapping up here and calling it ‘subsistence’, and I think it’s kinda lame. And yes, I’ve read a bit about the shooting they’re doing down south in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming .. something like 33 wolves in one month or something .. they’ll be all gone, at that rate, within a couple of years. Though I suspect the wolves will pick up on the change in human behavior pretty quickly, and within a real short time folks won’t even see them.



  3. Ron Niebrugge

    Yeah ironic and stupid. Our tax dollars are being used to fly around to kill wolves, and to fly around and save wolves.

    Reminds me of something I heard in the desert recently. The feds began moving desert tortoise from a part of the Mojave where the military was to begin training. In unfamiliar terrain, and without their boroughs, the tortoises were being easily killed by coyotes. The solution – kill the coyotes.

  4. Carl Donohue

    Hey Ron,

    I guess the wolves are sitting around wondering ‘what the heck is up with these CRAZY people’?

    Wild about the tortoise. Isn’t that just SO typical? And the poor ole coyotes, they never get a break from anyone – always getting a hard time.



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