Wolf 253M gunned down for fun near Daniel, Wyoming

For years people have been asked me whatever happened to famous wolf 253M, the wolf that went to Utah and later became the beta male of the Druid Pack in Yellowstone Park.

I thought by now this 3-legged wolf would have passed on, but it has now been confirmed that he was gunned down near an elk feedground in the vicinity of Daniel, Wyoming this weekend. He was not bothering livestock, but rather unknowingly protecting Wyoming’s elk from chronic wasting disease by chasing them away from the state’s system of disease breeding elk feedlots that turn elk into livestock for the winter. A female wolf was also shot at the same time.

Daniel is in Wyoming’s new you-can kill-any-wolf-you-see-by-any method zone.

Somehow I think some folks are going to very unhappy about this.

Note on April 2. The Salt Lake Tribune posted a story on this today, citing my blog. I put this up without a second source (kind of risky), but this morning I confirmed from a second source that it was indeed 253).

More on April 2. Beloved ‘Wolf 253′ killed in Wyoming. KSL News (Salt Lake City)

Wolf 253M on the right. Notice his small fourth leg. Wolf 21M (left) and 42F (front). Steve Justad furnished this photo of the Druid “big 3” taken back about 2004. Copyright © Steve Justad

Mexican Wolf Saved From Extinction but Snared in Politics

A Wolf Saved From Extinction but Snared in Politics. Deaths Due to Management Diminish Wild Population’s Genetic Diversity. By Juliet Eilperin. Washington Post Staff Writer

I am encouraged by the increasing national attention to the wolf issue. Hopefully a backlash is brewing.

Wildlife management is 50% biology and practical knowledge and 50% politics. Any student majoring in this area should be told this.

Removing problem wolves does almost no good. The livestock interests are just as opposed afterwards, and in the case of the Mexican wolf actually seem interested in baiting them with their “precious” cattle, willing to  sacrifice a calf so the government will then kill a rare Mexican wolf in a “control action”

Post-delisting wolf kills begin in Wyoming

“Large numbers of hunters reportedly prowled the state’s newly designated wolf predator area in Sublette County Friday, Saturday and Sunday, locals and outfitters said.”

The rest of the story is in the Casper Star Tribune. By Chris Merrill. Post-delisting wolf kills begin.

Note the role of elk feedgrounds in making it easier to kill wolves.

Wolves remain protected in Washington

Wolves remain protected in Washington. The Omak Chronicle.

Despite delisting, wolves remain protected by state law in Eastern Oregon and Eastern Washington. In Western Oregon and Washington, they remain protected by federal law too. The drawing up the boundaries for delisting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service went out of their way to move them far from where almost all of the Northern Rockies wolves lives.

The most reasonable explanation for this is they wanted to make wolf recolonization of Utah,* Oregon and Washington by natural dispersion to be as difficult as possible. Actions by Oregon and Washington hopefully will defeat their anti-wolf objectives.

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*They moved the delisting boundaries from the Utah/Idaho line way down to central Utah.