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I cannot express in words how I feel about trapping wolves. My heart breaks daily when I check the number of wolves slaughtered in the Idaho and Montana hunts. The Montana wolf archery season was particularly horrific BUT nothing is going to decimate wolves like trapping and snaring.
The blame for this tragedy lays solely at the feet of those 81 Senators who voted to delist wolves via budget rider and the President, who signed the bill into law, with the wolf rider intact.
“Animals caught in leg-hold traps will endure a slow and excruciating death. Some chew off their own leg in an attempt to escape. Others may freeze or bleed to death before the trapper returns. Those who don’t will be strangled, stomped or bludgeoned. The traps used kill not only their intended victims, but also injure or kill endangered species and domestic companion animals.”
I wonder if most people understand how evil trapping really is? Do you know trappers will often stomp their victims to death so they don’t incur damage to the “pelt”?
Trapping is medieval and doesn’t belong in a civilized society. Several years ago an Alaskan female alpha wolf, who had been trapped outside Denali National Park, died a particularly brutal death. She spent fourteen horrific days in the trap, without food or water. Her pack-mates were frantic to help but they could only watch her suffer. In the end she was so hungry, she tried to eat rocks, her teeth were broken in the effort. Her world was reduced to being caught in a painful trap, meant to deprive her of her family, deprive her of food and shelter, and ultimately deprive her of her life. Her story has brought me to tears more than once.
This is trapping. It is barbaric, it is torture and should be outlawed. The fact Idaho is using traps and snares, in an already brutal hunt, is egregious beyond measure. Trapping has terrible connotations connected to wolves because it was the trap that wiped them out in the West.
This bloodbath is going unreported by the mainstream media and shame on them for it. I wonder when the death toll reaches into the hundreds will they suddenly pay attention or will the iconic wolf, brought back to Yellowstone and Central Idaho a mere sixteen years ago, now abandoned to their enemies, will slowly slip away, unnoticed.
“One study on wolves taken in various types of traps was published in the Journal of Wildlife Management (Ballenberghe 1984). It investigated injuries and mortality of 126 wolves trapped in northeastern Minnesota and Alaska. Traps used included steel jaw leghold traps of various types, some with teeth, others with smooth offset jaws; steel cable foot snares; and cable neck snares equipped with devices that prevented the loop from fully closing (Ballenberghe 1984). The results confirmed that steel jaw leghold traps caused the greatest number of injuries and mortalities: 41 percent of 109 adults, yearlings and pups caught in these traps incurred serious foot and leg injuries, defined as lacerations, damage to tissue, bone breakage, and joint dislocations (Ballenberghe 1984). Three wolves, including a pup, had broken leg bones; two others lost front feet after they were nearly amputated by the trap. One young male with broken radius and ulna bones in his foreleg was released in this study to stumble off; this wolf was caught by a trapper several months later (Ballenberghe 1984).
Other injuries resulted when trapped animals gnawed their own feet off and chewed on the traps, breaking teeth and splitting lips. The steel jaw leghold traps caused tissue, muscle and tendon injuries, even when checked daily” (Ballenberghe 1984).”
Aside from leg hold traps, there are snare traps. These are equally horrific. In 1992 there was a mind-boggling “research project” conducted in Alaska, involving the use of thousands of wire snares laid to kill wolves in a misguided attempt to increase ungulate populations. The ESA Handbook further describes the horror that ensued.
“In 1992, such a wolf “research” program, involving the setting of thousands of wire snares, was carried out south of Fairbanks. Gordon Haber, a conservationist and wolf biologist who has worked for decades on behalf of Alaska’s
wolves, brought television crews to film the snaring operation in December 1994.
They were shocked by the scene that awaited them. Four wolves had been caught in wire snares, two of them pups. One was dead, and three were still alive, terrified and in great pain. A 6-month-old pup, with its paw caught in a neck snare, had chewed off its foreleg in a futile effort to escape. Another had been snared around the chest, causing deep wounds. The other two had been snared by the leg. All these snares had been set to catch the wolves by the neck and kill them, yet none did. Members of the pack milled about nearby, unwilling to leave their fellows. Two snared Caribou were lying dead nearby. A trapper was filmed as he attempted to shoot the wolves, repeatedly missing or wounding them because he used the wrong caliber ammunition in his gun. He shot one pup five times in the head and body at point-blank range with the wrong gauge ammunition. The pup, wounded, remained standing. The trapper then reloaded with other ammunition, and this time shot all three wolves fatally.”
Today is the opening day of wolf trapping in Idaho. Please contact Governor Otter, the Idaho Commissioners, IDFG, Idaho Tourism and the Potato Commission. Let them know how you feel about trapping wolves. Use the facts in this post to convey your message. Be polite but to the point.
The war on wolves continues in the Northern Rockies. Tell everyone you know. Who is going to speak for wolves if not us?
Governor Butch Otter
999 Main St, Suite 910
Boise, ID 83702
Fax: (208) 334-3454
Idaho Fish and Game Commissioners
Magic Valley Region
Upper Snake Region
Idaho Fish and Game
IDFG Director Virgil Moore:
Jon Rachael, IDFG Wildlife Dept.
Idaho tourism office
Write the Potato Commission
Videos: Courtesy YouTube
Posted in: Animal Cruelty, Wolf Wars, Idaho wolves
Tags: cruel trapping, animal suffering, ban trapping, animal cruelty, wolf persecution