Wyoming study shows surplus killing is uncommon-
So the Jackson Hole wolves rarely engage in surplus killing. This uncommon event is morphed into “killing for fun” by hard core antis. Wolves are most likely to abandon a carcass when humans disturb it, but that is only some packs. Another Wyoming myth dispelled is that the elk leave usually leave the state feedgrounds every time wolves make a kill.
About the study in the Jackson Hole News and Guide. . . Wolves make few unnecessary elk kills, study says. Wapiti tend to stay on Gros Ventre feedgrounds during attacks. Story is by Cory Hatch.
Be sure to read the refusal of a local outfitter to believe the study. He questions the motives of the USFWS and thinks that they are trying to make the wolf “sound as good as they can”. This lack of acceptance is what I’d expect. A person’s attitudes are tied together if they are strongly held. When new information arrives that does match the attitudes, a person will change their thinking in the way that causes them the least discomfort. In this case, the easiest change is to discredit the study (after all it is a federal study). Attitude change is large topic in the field of social psychology. One conclusion is that people are not rational in the short run when they get dissonant information (information they don’t like). That is because accepting unpleasant information may make them feel silly, harm their ties to friends, require them to change a lot of other attitudes, cause them to be frightened, etc.
The newspaper story also mentions the data from the latest Wyoming wolf weekly. Here is a direct link.