Press Release CBD: Trapped Idaho Wolf Tortured Before Killing…

Photo from posting

For Immediate Release, April 3, 2012

Trapped Idaho Wolf Tortured Before Killing 

Attorney General, Forest Service Asked to Investigate Violations of State Cruelty Law and 

Forest Service Ethics

BOISE, Idaho— The Center for Biological Diversity sent letters to both the Forest Service and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, today requesting investigations into the actions of a Forest Service employee, Josh Bransford, who posted photos of a wolf he had trapped in northern Idaho that had been maliciously and non-fatally shot by people who spotted the animal from a nearby road.

“A year ago, that wolf was protected as a member of an endangered species, but last month he was trapped, tortured and killed thanks to an underhanded congressional rider that’s also responsible for the deaths of hundreds of other wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains,” said the Center’s Michael Robinson. “A lack of respect for the balance of nature is leading to a war on wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains .”

The posting, on, shows the Forest Service employee smiling in front of a still-living wolf surrounded by snow that is bloody from the animal’s gunshot wounds. Idaho state law makes it a crime for a person who “causes or procures any animal to be cruelly treated, or who, having the charge or custody of any animal either as owner or otherwise, subjects any animal to cruelty.” It also requires that “destruction of animals for population control” (the supposed reason for wolf trapping) be carried out humanely. Making it possible for potshots to be taken at a captive animal — and photographing the results — before ending the wolf’s suffering appears to violate this law, as well as common decency.

“These photos make plain that the trapping and hunting of wolves being allowed by the state of Idaho are less ‘wildlife-management techniques’ than scapegoating of wolves,” said Robinson. “This egregious torture of a wolf needs to be investigated by Idaho ’s attorney general and the Forest Service, and Josh Bransford should be fined and dismissed from his position.”

Removal of Endangered Species Act protection for the wolf was premised on the fact that state game agencies could be counted on to manage wolves. Idaho has since abandoned the targets of its state plan and instead said it will seek to reduce the population from roughly 1,000 wolves to as low as 150 wolves, effectively creating an open season on the species. So far, 375 wolves have been reported killed in Idaho and 166 in Montana . Idaho ’s wolf hunt remains open in portions of the state.

“The disturbing photos of this animal’s needlessly painful death are a symbol of the loss of hundreds of wolves in Idaho and Montana and the unraveling of their ecosystems as a consequence,” said Robinson. “Last year’s wolf-delisting rider was premised on trusting the states to treat wolves like other wildlife. But that trust was clearly misplaced by Congress.

Without the safety net of the Endangered Species Act, Idaho ’s very clearly persecuting wolves, not ‘managing’ them. It’s brutal and it has to stop.”

Michael J. Robinson
Center for Biological Diversity


Howling for Justice Statement

 Yes, it has to stop. Our ultimate goal is to see wolves relisted. It’s obvious the states are not capable of caring for wolves. Idaho is conducting a cruel vendetta against them, worse than the first  Western extermination. We have learned nothing, the same backward, base, hateful attitudes are driving this wolf killing train.

Congress should hang their heads in shame for legislating away wolves’ ESA protections and opening them up to unspeakable torture and brutality!!


Photo: Courtesy Center for Biological Diversity

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Animal Cruelty, Idaho Wolves

Tags: Animal cruelty, tortured wolf, US Forest Service

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27 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Reblogged this on Wisconsin Wildlife Ethic-Vote Our Wildlife and commented:
    From Howling For Justice. The outrage from this horrific event is spreading. Keep up the pressure!


  2. Thank you, as always, for your diligent work and updates on this situation. I am rarely at a loss for words, but this level of cruelty is simply inexplicable. I will never understand the hardness that overtakes the human heart.


  3. Shame on the wolf hunting/trapping states.They have turned ‘wildlife management’ into a reckless blood-fest. The states obviously can’t handle the responsibility of caring for our natural resources, our wildlife and wild places.

    Thank you for keeping us up to date – I pray the tide now turns in favor of re-listing wolves as Endangered Species and thereby granting them Federal protection again.


  4. I called the Forest Service this evening and spoke with “Ralph” who informed me that Bransford did NOT trap on work time, but on his own time, and that he could do nothing about it. He urged me to call the Idaho Fish and Game to report any unethical trapping at 208-799-5010. He said that Bransford went by the law, in that he had a trapping license and did it on his own time. He told me that when someone applies for a trapper license, they are required to attend “an ethical trapping class – one session” – obviously Mr. Bransford played hooky on that day! I still think he can be reported for unethical trapping and hopefully get his trapping license revoked. But will they care? Only if the general public and the press is unrelenting. Also may be a good idea to fund raise for billboards to expose these sadistic, blood lustful nuts, one at a time (a suggestion from a friend).


    • What is wrong with these blood thirsty wolf killers? With people like Senator Jeff Siddoway in office it will go on indefinitely, for he is for this & encourages live bait to catch wolves. Keep writing & calling him & the fish & game departments & President Obama as well.
      e mail for him is “” Flood their offices with e mails & calls as often as possible. Email for BLM, “ or Lets do all we can to stop this, NOW.


  5. GLAD to see this letter sent.. it is just so EVIL what is taking place. Can’t believe we belong to the same species as these hunters..


  6. I’m so glad to see things finally moving in the right direction. We need to keep up the pressure. Keep sending letters and plaster this story everywhere we can. This wolf needs to be the symbol of our resolve and commitment to end this slaughter.




  8. I think Josh for one should be fired and jailed sitting there smiling while the wolf is suffering.I am ashamed to be called a human being. Stop the slaughter of the wolves in all states you people like being shot at,snared poisoned or whatever.If the Government had any sense at all they would put a stop to it all.But unfortunately you don’t have any sense, you think its fun to have all that power over almost everything let me tell you-you are nothing for letting this wolf be tortured like that.Get a life and grow up.


    • BOYCOTT IDAHO, POTATOES , EVERYTHING. Do not vacation there, contact fish & game & JEFF SIDDOWAY & over whelm them with mail against this horrendous treatment of our wild life.


  9. …and these are only the ones we see……..I’m sure many photos of tortured wolves are only passed around among the antis….grrrrrr….


  10. This is why when living in Idaho your know how bad the corruption is. Your tax dollars at work. the good old boys having just a fine time. This is at their sociopath at their best. I so believe in in universal justice and karma. What they do unto the innocent animals will come back to back to them.
    This breaks my heart. I have so little faith in humans to do the right thing.


  11. It is an outrage that we are still in the dark ages with this barbaric form of ABUSE AND TORTURE. It reminds me of the stand down law….just an excuse for insecure, troubled, blood seeking people to vent their own insecurites on the wolf. It is truely a witch hunt of the greatest proportions.

    We must do all that we can to stop the insanity aimed at these beautiful creatures. There appears to be no oversight. It is a damn blood bath. Write articles in your local papers about the truths about the wolf. They will usually run them for free. We have to all do as much as we can. Call the F&G on a regualar basis with your complaints.


    • We should all remember these words by Martin Luther King,
      Never , Never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well being of a person or ANIMAL is at stake. Society;s punishment are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.


  12. I’m so glad this is escalating and we can keep the pressure to a higher level. The sorrow and pain are in my spirit, the anger is what makes me write and sign all that will help so this “man” gets punished, but more important than this, that these states start to feel the pressure from all of us.


  13. People Who Torture, Trap & Kill Wolves Are Evil. Thay can not Be trusted.
    If –> YOU See Any One Doing this Get Vehicle Plate#, Pictures & Video if Possible………..Expose Them, Report To Authorities………
    Real Men Don’t Do This !…………………………………..


  14. “Common decency”? – they wouldn’t recognize it, if it jumped up and bit them in the face!!!


  15. I am just lossed for words. I can not understand how a human being who enjoys life and the thrill of being alive, be able to take away what he/she holds dear to themselves. Not just taking that life but to torture and cause terror as well. The word ‘inhumane” ( inhuman) says it all. Does this mean hunters and trappers ( and politicians for letting this happen) who commit these atrocities are as the word says inhuman. Perhaps that is not for me to decided. I dont call for these people to be treated as they have treated the wolves as that would make us like them. What i do ask is that they are banned from any and all forms of hunting and any job where animal and environmental welfare is the work at hand …well it seems that i wasn’t at a loss for words, just understanding.


    • The BLM is doing this to wild mustangs as well. Rounding them up with helicopters & chasing them for over an hour until they are exhausted.
      This is what Sara Palin did, kill wolves from a helicopter, so she too is on my s – it list.


  16. This story and pictures are showing the wolf hunt sadism for what it is. Just plain meanness for the sake of meanness, psychopathic behavior. I don’t have much hope for any consequences for the brutality. There will be excuses made and the hunters will get by. Even the churches will look the other way when it comes to human cruelty to other creatures. Unfortunately, many people make the earth a worse place by their very presence on it.


  17. justice and humanity will prevail…would you want this guy ” defending ” your home or protecting firefighters under his command in the event of a wildland fire….yea this idiot shows no compassion…morals…ethics nor honor…fire the bum before his ” code of conduct ” hurts, maims, or kills others….free the wolves, chain the humans…..and boycott all idaho products


  18. That sneering grimace shows the ugly side of mankind.


  19. Torture those men in the same way, so they know what it feels like hurting beautiful animals, like a wolf or any other animal.
    With that disgusting smile on this creature his face, this must stop for now and always!!


  20. One small step at a time. Remember the tortoise in the fable? He won the race because the rabbit was arrogant. Maybe this is a step in the right direction to getting wolves relisted.


  21. It is about time someone did something – I sent the post to a journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle who wrote a recent article on The Wolf returning to California, BUT no reply. – I am going to try again.


  22. ‘Even the churches will look the other way when it comes to human cruelty to other creatures.’

    Not only do they look the other way (most times), but they helped create this kind of environment towards animals by teaching that mankind is God’s ultimate creation, and has ‘dominion’ over the rest. I don’t believe that at all, and I tend to think like St. Francis.


  23. Yes, let’s spread our outrage!!!


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