Wolfpack killed for preying on stock
Gazette Wyoming Bureau
An entire pack of wolves was killed in central Idaho last week after it
repeatedly preyed on livestock.
Past problems with the 10-member Whitehawk Mountain pack near Clayton had
prompted government officials to try experimental harassment techniques,
including lights, sirens and noise-making devices activated when wolves
wandered onto property.
“It was working pretty well for a while,” said Ed Bangs, wolf recovery
coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
But on March 31, two wolves killed a sheep on private property near the
East Fork of the Salmon River. The next day, government officials killed
the two members of the pack responsible for the kill.
Despite increased harassment from helicopters and on land, wolves killed a
calf Wednesday in the same area. Three wolves were shot the next day.
On Friday, the wolves killed another calf. In response, the remaining
members of the pack – two adults and three yearlings – were shot later
Before last week’s attack, wildlife managers said the pack was responsible
for killing 16 sheep, one guard dog and one calf. The Nez Perce Tribe and
Defenders of Wildlife had recruited volunteers to monitor the pack and try
to deter them from killing further.
Bangs said entire packs have been taken out three or four times before.
“It happens,” he said.
The elimination of the Whitehawk Mountain pack drew a quick response,
mostly from people upset about the removal of so many wolves. Bangs said
he hears from people angry because the Fish and Wildlife Service is
killing too many wolves and from people angry because not enough wolves
are being killed.
“There’s no middle ground, or at least very little,” he said.