WOLVES JUST PROTECTING THEIR YOUNG – THERE’S NO NEED TO SHOOT THEM

WOLVES JUST PROTECTING THEIR YOUNG–THERE’S NO NEED TO SHOOT THEM

BY JIM ROBERTSON

I read with interest a recent article about a fish researcher who claimed to have been scared up a tree by a pair of wolves in Washington. She had to be rescued by a nearby fire helicopter, and local sheriff’s deputies among the rescuers were advised to “…shoot the wolves on sight,” if they saw them still near the treed researcher.
After a short bit of searching, I came across what sounds like the most reasonable explanation for the wolves unusual behavior. A report in Northwest Public Broadcasting revealed that “biologists who visited the spot Friday to investigate the incident attributed the rare wolf-human interaction to the presence of wolf pups nearby.”
Surely, humans act a little abnormal when protecting their young from uninvited interlopers. Of course, to the wolves, an uninvited interloper is just what the fish researcher was (and for all we know she even smelled of fish to them). The point is, people shouldn’t get too hasty in their judgment of others’ (in this case the wolves’) actions. This whole outdated ‘shoot on sight’ mentality is what drove wolves to extinction in Washington in the first place.
None of the wolves I’ve come across in either Alaska, Canada or the Yellowstone area ever acted aggressively or defensively like the ones the fish researcher met. Much has been made about her doing everything right, but perhaps if she’d turned back when she first heard wolves yip and howl and bark (instead of continuing on towards their den-site) they wouldn’t have felt the need to approach or tree her.

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