Famous wolf briefly strays from Yellowstone and is shot

Eight wolves collared for research have been shot this year outside of Yellowstone. Controversially reintroduced to the area this season, it appears wolf hunting will reduce the population of research animals as well as the number of attacks on livestock. One of the wolves, 832F, was the alpha of the parks Lamar Canyon pack, a favorite with tourists and researchers. She graces the cover of American Scientist this month. "'She is the most famous wolf in the world,' said Jimmy Jones, a wildlife photographer who lives in Los Angeles and whose portrait of 832F appears in the current issue of the magazine American Scientist." (via NYT)


  1. I need numbers here. Eight have been killed this year that had collars on them. 

    How many live there?

    How many lived there 10 years ago?

    How many are allowed to be killed every season?

    How many (had) and still have collars on them? 

    How many livestock incidents have actually been reported? 

    Of course it sucks, but whether or not it’s devastating depends on the numbers.

    1. It’s actually a growing concern for people who live near national parks. Repopulation has been so successful that animals are constantly leaving protected lands to search for food. It’s happening for basically everything.. bears, wolves, elk.. you name it. 

      The people who live out there don’t see things quite the same as city folk do.. they respect wildlife, but not in the same way. If they get too close to home and become a nuisance, the guns will be coming off the wall.

      1. “The people who live out there don’t see things quite the same as city folk do.. they respect wildlife, but not in the same way. If they get too close to home and become a nuisance, the guns will be coming off the wall.”

        Yeah, sorry, the dozens of rotting carcasses of wildlife poached or killed just for fun that I used to encounter when living in such an area make a convincing argument against that folksy bullshit.

    2. From a link in the NYT link:

      Wolves in Yellowstone generate controversy. Although wolves were in Yellowstone when it was first discovered, they were hunted into local extinction by European settlers. The last wolf was deliberately killed in Yellowstone in 1926. From then until 1995 there were no wolf packs in Yellowstone.

      In 1995 and 1996, a total of 31 wolves from two areas in Canada were reintroduced into Yellowstone in the Lamar Valley. The idea was to rebalance the ecosystem to a 19th-century state and put more wolves into a protected area. There are now 10 packs and approximately 100 wolves in Yellowstone. The effects of reintroduction are ongoing.


    3.  Well these articles should answer some of your questions. It appears the Yellowstone wolves are being targeted in Montana’s Wolf Management Units, so it appears no livestock is yet involved in the equation:

      “It is now estimated that 10 Yellowstone wolves — including seven with research collars and three from the famous Mollies, Blacktail Plateau and Lamar Canyon packs — have been shot by hunters in November 2012.”

      Shooting of collared wolves impacts research
      Game managers may make changes in hunting season for next year

      First instance of collared Yellowstone wolf being illegally killed

  2. Surely, if you are the world’s most famous wolf, you get ‘assassinated’ rather than ‘shot’ or ‘killed’.

    1. Not really. Assassination implies political or clandestine intent. If a famous person gets shot during a mugging, it’s murder, not assassination. If they get hit by a car it’s manslaughter.

      The more important consideration is that animals are not legally “people”. Which is curious, given that non-sentient abtract organizational constructs such as corporations are.

      1. Think about it: A satellite-collared wolf, part of a controversial reintroduced population, is shot on the edge of Yellowstone National Park. There’s a good chance the intent was at least partly political.

      1. Jason, could you email me fred  at autosportlabs com  I’ve got a great article to do (you know, for the save on the whole title thing?)  Plus,, it’s an open source cool thing!

  3. I understand that sometimes there might be instances (or so we’re told) when it becomes necessary to shoot them, what I want to know is what kind of person signs up to “hunt” wolves for fun/sport/boners.
    THAT I don’t understand at all.  Just shooting and killing something for the hell of it?  I mean, that’s the sign of a fucked up human being right there.

    1.  You are right, you don’t understand. So how about you also refrain from judging people that are doing something you don’t understand.

      1. Yeah, I got into an argument on this several weeks back here.

        I also don’t understand people who torture animals, and do not ever want to. Of course, that is a deliberate exaggeration, but the essential point is this: wanting to end something’s life just for the thrill it gives you goes against every moral principle I have, and I find it revolting. 

        Yes, you can start to talk about how natural it is, or how people do it for a living, or how hypocritical we are if we’re not vegetarian. None of those things are relevant.

        I understand enough to be repelled by it.

        1. Those people who “talk about how natural it is, or how people do it for a living, or how hypocritical we are if we’re not vegetarian” are missing an important distinction you’re making: there’s a broad gulf between a person who kills an animal for survival and a person who kills an animal “just for the thrill”.

          Vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores can have respectful, intelligent, and even useful debates about whether killing animals for food is necessary, but I don’t see how any sane person can justify killing animals just because they think it’s fun to do so.

          1.  I had a discussion with some vegans (I’m not vegan, though) about how any kind of farming will displace habitat and still kill animals, here and there.

      2. No, I’ll go ahead and judge.  people that trophy hunt are assholes. 
        I got no beef with eating… meat.  But it takes a special kind of fucking weirdo to get off hunting something for the “sport” of it.

        1. You want sport? Give the wildlife firearms.

          Doesn’t the second amendment gives us the right to arm bears? :P

      3. I think by “don’t understand” he means “don’t agree with.” And I don’t agree with this either (the “either” assuming I am interpreting correctly). Killing for sport alone–for the joy of killing something–is disgusting.

      4. Clicked the like button by accident, so one of those is bogus.
        Hunting for food is one thing but why sign up to shoot wolves?

        So if the hunters don’t understand why there should be wolves that means they can sign up to shoot them, where can the rest of us sign up to shoot hunters?

        I mean it would take too much thought to judge the pathetic psychopaths who do this, so just shoot them.

      5. I think @boingboing-2f150366fa9e59d5b4e3d1071d395264:disqus understands completely –as I do, too.  I understand that you will need to kill a predator if it’s killing your farm animals, whether it’s a fox or a wolf. I understand hunting animals for sport, but only if you’re going to eat them. I do not understand people who poach. Period. Torturing animals is just as disgusting as torturing anything.

    2. Guess some people feel so powerless in their lives with their crappy jobs and all that they need to make themselves feel powerful by killing something else.

    3. My favorite excuse is “I like to be outside in nature, it’s about the hunt and not the killing.” Then why not shoot with a camera? Get used to it— hunting isn’t going away anytime soon as long as there are people that like to kill shit. MURIKA!

      1. FTR, I don’t have an issue with people that hunt or fish and use that meat as food.  In fact that’s probably more humane than 99 percent of the farm raised livestock. 
        But going out on a wolf hunt to say you bagged one?  How is that any different than the pencil dicks that go to a place in Texas that have lions sleeping under a tree for people to shoot?

  4. The problem is not with hunting… its with asshats who only really want to kill something scary and rare.  We have too many deer in Michigan, but no huge influx of hunters wanting to kill them.  Open up 1 wolf permit and there will be thousands of rednecks tripping over each others boners to get a chance to kill it and masturbate on its corpse each time they get to retell the story to anyone who cant think of an excuse to not sit through a half hour monologue. 

    I am pro gun and pro hunting… but I would much rather see dead “hunters” hanging from a trophy wall than a dead wolf or other rare apex predator.  Its not news when some dude puts on camouflage, drops a pile of bait and then ambushes an animal from 50 yards away.  it is however news when a wolf pack is sighted or that polar bears are dying off etc.

  5. Solution to livestock concerns: reintroduce Mammoths, thus providing the wolves with a more robust food supply.

  6. I can’t seem to find anything indicating this wolf was killed for sport or fun. The discussion is interesting enough, but it may not apply here.

    Shooting a  wolf to protect livestock, property, or family is not sport hunting.

    On Monday, the Montana Fish and Wildlife commissioner put a ban on hunting and trapping wolf near Yellowstone so we should see less of this take place. Of course, if you have a ranch near Yellowstone, you are probably still going to shoot any wolves you see on your property.

    1. doggo 
      Killing wolves ’cause they have the nerve to to eat, makes me hate humans. Ranchers should think of it as the cost of doing business.

      Business is so twisted. “Wolves are cuttin’ into my profit margin. Kill ’em!” Fucking Capitalism. Always about the short-term profits.

      @doggo – It actually has nothing to do with profit. They want to kill wolves because they think its a basic human right to kill stuff.

      @Fishbooom Are you sure? ‘Cause that’s a pretty evil point of view. More evil than profit motive… maybe.

      @doggo – No that’s it. Government already pays ranchers for all wolf damage – they aren’t out a dime.

  7. My opinion on hunting – outlaw everything other than knives. We’ll see how many hunters go after dangerous game then.

  8. Cows/livestock are not that expensive let the wolves be and compensate the “farmers” who are probably using public land.  Make them buy livestock insurance from the feds or just buy them new cows.  We spend much more rebuilding rich peoples 2nd, 3rd 4th etc. beach front homes time and time again after they get taken out by storms.

    1. They actually can be compensated for killed livestock, but apparently (according to the science article) the claims can be difficult to prove. They should make it easier and give these ranchers less of a leg to stand on.

      1. That’s been my argument. If people want to remove the “they’re eating my livestock argument” then they should make it much, much easier for ranchers to get compensated for wildlife kills. Hell, throw in bear kills for free if you don’t want the argument “was it a bear or was it a wolf.” This doesn’t even have to be a government program—the non-profits who want all these wolves should do it themselves.

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