In just 72 hours, hunters in Wisconsin killed 178 gray wolves during the state’s open season on the animals. As reported by the Associated Press, the hunt was ended early after it became clear that hunters were going to blow past the targeted number of wolves that were intended to be killed. According to the Animal Rescue Site, the intended target was 119 wolves.
Megan Nicholson, director of the Wisconsin chapter of the Humane Society of the United States, criticized the hunt:
“This is a deeply sad and shameful week for Wisconsin. This week’s hunt proves that now, more than ever, gray wolves need federal protections restored to protect them from short-sighted and lethal state management.”
Hunters were able to kill a large number of wolves because most used dogs to track them down in the snow. In a news conference, DNR Wildlife Management Director Eric Lobner said:
“It’s easy at this point in the game to say, yeah, maybe we should have closed it a little bit sooner. There were so many unknowns about how the season was going to play out. … How far we went over goal was not necessarily our objective.”
Despite the large number of slain wolves, officials do not believe that it poses a threat to the wolf population. According to the Associated Press, the wolves were removed from the federal endangered species list during the Obama administration. In 2014, a federal judge restored protections for the wolves, temporarily ending the state sanctioned hunts, but those protections were eliminated during the Trump administration.
(Photo via Pixabay free image)
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