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Wolf pack is home on the military range

Wolf pack is home on the military range

Associated Press
Mar. 11, 2003 08:15 AM

FORT McCOY, Wis.- Five timber wolves have picked an unlikely and sometimes noisy place to call their home – a military firing range.

A female wolf named Sassafras and four other timber wolves have settled in the backcountry of this huge Monroe County Army base, and the pack’s home territory is right in the middle of the base’s firing range.

Tim Wilder, an endangered species biologist who works for the Army and keeps track of the wolves, said the wolves appear to be doing well, in spite of the occasional bomb blast.

The fort has thousands of acres of undeveloped land, making it an ideal refuge, and Wilder said the wolves are smart enough to avoid the areas where bombs fall.

He also said the Army has agreed to his recommendation that soldiers hold their fire if the wolves are visible.

Wisconsin has about 320 wolves statewide, far more than wildlife biologists expected when they started a wolf recovery plan in 1989.

“I think the wolves are pretty tolerant,” Wilder said. “But it’s more that people are tolerating them. If they didn’t want them here, they wouldn’t be here.”