Maggie Howell is the executive director of the Wolf Conservation Center.
Wolves are being slaughtered with a zeal that goes beyond the typical thrill of the hunt. Last month, Oregon state police asked for help and nonprofits offered a reward of nearly $50,000 for leads in identifying the criminals who poisoned two wolf packs, killing eight of these noble creatures in one of the slowest, most horrific ways possible.
Such slaughters have ramped up since the Trump administration removed the gray wolf from the endangered species list in October 2020. The change took effect in January 2021, leaving a patchwork of state regulations and wolf populations vulnerable not only to newly sanctioned hunting but to poaching, or illegal hunting, as well.
In Wisconsin, 218 wolves were killed in the span of three days last February, exceeding the state’s quota by nearly 100. The loss represents about a third of Wisconsin’s wolf population. In Washington, where wolves are still protected, a breeding mother wolf was poached in May. Since Montana’s wolf season opened on Septem... Read more