From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 3, Number 44 - January 29, 2004
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Two wolves killed near Cora

by Cat Urbigkit

Federal wildlife officials shot and killed two wolves last Friday morning near Cora after the animals had killed livestock over a period of several weeks on a private ranch in the area.

All told, four head of yearling cattle were killed by the pack of four or five wolves. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service noted that the pack of four had been using the area, which is located between two state-managed elk feedgrounds. Two radio-collared wolves remain in the area, although the collar is reportedly not working on one of the animals.

FWS reported: "Agency control has been completed unless other depredations are reported but the landowner still has a shoot-on-site permit for two wolves."

FWS also responded to the brucellosis situation in the county, stating in the agency's weekly wolf update report: "The cooperative study of wolf and elk interactions near elk winter feedgrounds by FWS, Wyoming Game and Fish, U.S. Forest Service and Grand Teton National Park has begun ... The elk are currently widely scattered and have not started to intensively use the feedgrounds.

"Apparently a second case of brucellosis in cattle was confirmed in Wyoming and the state may lose their brucellosis free status which may affect Wyoming cattle markets. Some have tried to falsely stretch this issue to implicate wolves, i.e. wolves pushed the elk off the feedgrounds to mix with cattle and this caused cattle to become infected. If it were only that simple."

In other wolf news, federal law enforcement agents recently confirmed poisoning as the cause of death of a gray wolf in Idaho, and are seeking information from the public to help solve the crime.

The collared wolf, known as B-143, was found to have been killed by a poison known as Compound 1080. The animal's carcass was found six miles northwest of Clayton, Idaho, last May. Compound 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, water soluble, highly toxic chemical. The misuse of this chemical is unlawful. This chemical can be ingested by livestock, family pets, hikers, and children and can result in death from respiratory failure, seizures and heart attack. Animals or small children are most susceptible to poisoning due to ingestion, but the substance's toxins can also enter animal or human bloodstreams through contact with abraded skin or wounds, or through the respiratory system if dust particles are inhaled.

"We are very interested in finding whoever is responsible for the crime. If anyone has information about the illegal killing of wolves, please contact the Service's law enforcement division. Callers may remain anonymous," said Scott Kabasa, a special agent in FWS's Boise field office.

The killing of an animal protected under the Endangered Species Act is punishable by a fine of up to $100,000 and one year in jail. FWS is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to an arrest or conviction of the person or persons responsible for the poisoning of wolves.

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