Volume 3, Number 50 - March 11, 2004
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Last week, Park County Commissioners officially requested a congressional investigation into the actions of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wolf biologist Mike Jimenez and his helper Wes Livingston for allegedly "attempting to plant wolves on the Larsen's ranch without the landowner's knowledge or approval."
The letter of request, directed to Senator Mike Enzi, stated that the investigation was needed "due to the grievous act taken by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service" by "introducing a dangerous wild predator to private lands historically used for livestock calving operations." The letter concluded, "We are outraged and demand accountability" for the actions taken by FWS in the incident.
On Feb. 14, Jimenez and Livingston were found with four tranquilized wolves on private land owned by the Larsen Ranch. They did not have permission to be on the private property.
The Park County Attorney has requested the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation investigate, so the possibility of criminal trespass charges against the federal wolf official remains. The wolves are now reportedly back in the Dubois area, the pack's regular territory.
Sublette County Wool Growers will soon be holding its spring meeting to set up the shearing schedule and determine its participation at the county fair. All wool growers in the county are urged to attend the meeting, which is set for Tuesday, March 16, at 7 p.m. in the Sublette County Extension Office.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Wyoming Veterinary Laboratory officials continue to investigate the deaths and paralysis of nearly 300 elk near Rawlins. The elk, found in apparent good health, but unable to rise, were first discovered in early February in about a 10-15-square-mile area.
The first live but afflicted elk transported from the area southwest of Rawlins, where 280 have lost leg muscle strength and died or been euthanized, died at the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory Friday morning.
Although WG&F manages big game animals in terms of statewide populations and herds, this cow elk had become a focal point in the quest to discover the mysterious malady after her capture Feb. 29.
Veterinarians treated the elk for dehydration, plus administered B vitamins, vitamin E, selenium and anti-inflammatory drugs trying to gain insights into the malady.
Lead WG&F veterinarian Walt Cook said the elk was drinking well, but not eating, and looked good Thursday evening. Three elk captured March 1 are still living and have good vital signs and, to the delight of overseeing veterinarians, have started eating after being offered a new grass hay on March 5.
"Lack of appetite may be a result of the sickness or perhaps just stress," Cook said. "We are very happy they have started eating the new hay."
In the arduous process to identify the source of malady, WSVL personnel have now ruled out calcium deficiency. Last week the laboratory eliminated chronic wasting disease, bacterial and common viral infections, tick paralysis, meningeal and carotid artery worm as causes. Mercury poisoning, selenium toxicity, many of the common plant toxins, some insecticides, a variety of metals and salt, nitrate and sulfate poisoning have also been eliminated.
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