143 sheep died after being chased by two wolves

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In mid-May, 143 sheep died after two wolves chased them into a ravine in southwestern Idaho. According to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services, the panicked sheep suffocated after piling on top of one another.

The flock of sheep belonged to rancher Frank Shirts, who commented on the tremendous loss of life:

“The wolves scared the hell out of (the sheep) and pushed them into that little canyon and piled them in there. They didn’t consume anything. The sheep just suffocated in the pileup and died. We work to make things good for those sheep every day, so it’s a shame to lose them.”

In an interview with the Idaho Rangeland Resources Commission, Shirts explained that the wolves chased the sheep in broad daylight. He explained that his sheep herders saw the two wolves running into the band of sheep and watched as the animals fell into the steep gully to their death. The sheepherders were eventually able to scare the wolves away. Shirts has stated that this is the worst wolf predation situation that he has experienced.

According to the Idaho Rangeland Resources Commission, Idaho has the most wolves in the Rocky Mountain West, with a population of about 1,500 animals.

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