Remembering Limpy: The Life and Death of Wolf 253

Limpy

Limpy – Wolf 253/Steve Justad

March 16, 2015

On March 28, 2008, almost seven years ago, a cherished Druid Peak pack wolf,  nick-named Limpy, was shot dead outside Daniel,Wyoming.  It happened on the day wolves, in the Northern Rockies, lost their ESA protections for the first time by the then Bush Administration. 

“He died for nothing”  said Lake City resident Marlene Foard.  A senseless death for a beloved wolf.

RIP Limpy – we remember and miss you!

Here is Limpy’s story told  by the Trib.com.

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The life and death of wolf 253

Posted: Sunday, April 13, 2008 12:00 am  Trib.com

FRANZ CAMENZIND

A wolf died the other day in Wyoming. Along with three others, it was shot and killed on the first day that wolves in most of the state lost the protection of the Endangered Species Act. These were legal kills made by people simply because they could. Nothing more was required of them but to report the kills to state officials – no license, no fees, no restrictions.

For sportsmen, one of the proudly held rules is: “Know Your Target.” What did these hunters know about their targets?

One of the four dead wolves was a female that may have been pregnant. Two of the males were unknown and will be remembered simply as body count numbers in the West’s war on wolves. But one wolf has a history known to many throughout the region. To some he was “Limpy,” to others he was “The Wanderer.” Officially, he was 253M, the 253rd wolf to be radio-collared in the Greater Yellowstone area since wolves were reintroduced in the mid-90s.

253M was born in April 2000 into the Druid Peak Pack, whose territory encompasses Yellowstone National Park’s Lamar Valley. His father was likely 21M, a leader of renown and a story unto himself. 21M was one of the first generation of wolves born in Yellowstone in more than 60 years.

253M was black, as are nearly half of Yellowstone’s wolves. Before he was two, he was injured defending his territory from intruders from a nearby pack. Although the Druids held their territory, 253M’s left hind leg was injured, causing a life-long limp distinguishing him from other wolves.

In the fall of 2002, he left his home territory, typical behavior for wolves of that age. Later that fall, on Nov. 30, 253M was accidentally caught in a trap set for coyotes about 20 miles northeast of Salt Lake City, making him the first confirmed wolf in Utah in more than 70 years. Tracks around the site suggested that he was traveling with another wolf – perhaps they were a pair exploring for a place to begin a new life.

253M was taken back to Wyoming and released three days later by a federal biologist south of Yellowstone Park. He made his way back to the Druid Pack before Christmas, surprising the “experts,” who thought he would immediately head back south.

This second time around, he remained with the Druids for nearly two years and rose to the level of second-ranking male – subordinate only to the now-famous, but aging, 21M. In the summer of 2004, 21M died, and most observers thought that 253M would take over as leader of the Druids. But again, he managed to fool the experts and waged only a minor battle with “New Black,” as the victor and new Druid leader came to be known.

Immediately after New Black assumed his alpha status, 253M broke from the pack and began wandering about Yellowstone, mostly undetected, only to unexpectedly appear on the National Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole – 90 miles south of his birthplace – alone, but looking healthy.

It was in early 2005 that 253M may have fathered his only offspring. He was observed with another male and female, and 5 pups, forming the new Flat Creek Pack. But within a year, 253M again headed south, and the Flat Creek Pack dissolved. The cause of the sudden disintegration of this new pack will never be known. Was 253M simply living up to one of his names, The Wanderer?

Meanwhile, the Daniel Pack, which roamed across a mix of ranching and wild lands 60 miles southeast of Jackson, was implicated in cattle depredations and thus under constant surveillance and control. Sometime in the next year or so, 253M found his way into this persecuted pack.

During his eight years of travel across thousands of miles and at least two states, 253M was never accused of any destruction of human property. He was a “good wolf” – one who adapted to his human-dominated world. The kind of wolf we should be able to live with.

But on the morning of March 28, his luck ran out. Not because of anything he did, but because of what a minority of people in Wyoming wanted – to take all protection off wolves in 88 percent of the state, where anyone can now kill any wolf by any means at any time. 253M and three others were killed for nothing more than being wolves in Wyoming’s politically designated predator zone.

253M and other wolves are now dead in Wyoming because some don’t want wolves in the Equality State.

Now we “Know The Target.” What have we learned?

Franz Camenzind is executive director of the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance.

http://trib.com/editorial/forum/article_124999b7-cf79-5ce6-bb05-48213d55554b.html

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Click the video to watch on YouTube

August 16, 2011

This video is a treasure I found by chance, a beautiful narration by Brian Connolly of the life and death of wolf 253M. It is so moving you will be brought to tears.

Limpy was the inspiration for this blog.  He was the perfect wolf in my mind’s eye, a member of the iconic Druid Peak Pack, who once ruled Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley.

Brian, I don’t know you but thanks  for your beautiful ode to Limpy, who gave pleasure to so many. A wolf, who over came the adversity of injury but was killed for nothing in the name of blood sport.

Rest in peace dear, dear wolf 253M

Limpy- steve justad 2006

For the wolves, For Limpy,

Nabeki

Howling For Justice is dedicated to wolf 253.

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Beloved ‘Wolf 253′ killed in Wyoming

Limpy KSL dot com Utah

April 2, 2008

John Hollenhorst reporting

One of the nation’s most famous and beloved wolves has been killed. Someone in Wyoming shot him, along with two other wolves, apparently the very day the Bush Administration lifted legal protections.

READ MORE:

http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=2994073

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Top Photos: Courtesy Steve Justad

Bottom Photo: Courtesy KSLdotcomUtah

Video:  Courtesy YouTube Brian Connolly

Posted in: wolf 253,  Endangered Species Act,  Wolf wars

Tags: Endangered Species Act, wolf intolerance, blood lust, Limpy, Wolf 253, Druid Peak Pack, RIP Limpy, KSLdotcomUtah, Brian Connolly, Trib.com

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Victory! Federal Judge Reinstates Protections For Wyoming Wolves!!!!

Wolves in lamar valley_ Earth Justice

September 23, 2014

Finally I have good news to report! Wyoming wolves have regained their federal protections! Thank you Earth Justice!

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VICTORY FOR WOLVES IN WYOMING

Victory: Federal Judge Reinstates Federal Protections Statewide
Earth Justice
September 23, 2014
Washington, D.C. —

Federal protections for gray wolves in Wyoming were reinstated today after a judge invalidated the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2012 statewide Endangered Species Act delisting of the species. The ruling from the U.S. District Court halts the management of wolves by Wyoming, a state with a history of hostile and extreme anti-wolf policies.

“The court has ruled and Wyoming’s kill-on-sight approach to wolf management throughout much of the state must stop,” said Earthjustice attorney Tim Preso. “Today’s ruling restores much-needed federal protection to wolves throughout Wyoming, which allowed killing along the borders of Yellowstone National Park and throughout national forest lands south of Jackson Hole where wolves were treated as vermin under state management. If Wyoming wants to resume management of wolves, it must develop a legitimate conservation plan that ensures a vibrant wolf population in the Northern Rockies.”

Earthjustice represented Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity in challenging the Fish and Wildlife Service’s September 2012 decision to strip Endangered Species Act protections from gray wolves in Wyoming. The conservation groups challenged the 2012 decision on grounds that Wyoming law authorized unlimited wolf killing in a “predator” zone that extended throughout most of the state, and provided inadequate protection for wolves even where killing was regulated.

“Today the court affirmed that delisting gray wolves in Wyoming by the Obama administration was premature and a violation of federal law,” said Defenders of Wildlife President and CEO Jamie Rappaport Clark. “Any state that has a wolf management plan that allows for unlimited wolf killing throughout most of the state should not be allowed to manage wolves. Wolves need to remain protected under the Endangered Species Act until the species is fully recovered. State laws and policies that treat wolves like vermin are as outdated and discredited today as they were a century ago.”

“The decision makes clear that ‘shoot-on-sight’ is not an acceptable management plan for wolves across the majority of the state,” said Dr. Sylvia Fallon, senior scientist and wildlife conservation director at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “It’s time for Wyoming to step back and develop a more science-based approach to managing wolves.”

“The court has rightly recognized the deep flaws in Wyoming’s wolf management plan. Wolves in Wyoming must have federal protection until the state gets it right. That means developing a science-based management plan that recognizes the many benefits wolves bring to the region instead of vermin that can be shot on sight in the majority of the state,” said Bonnie Rice of the Sierra Club’s Greater Yellowstone Our Wild America Campaign. 

“We’re thrilled that protections for Wyoming’s fragile population of wolves have been restored,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director with the Center for Biological Diversity. “With Wyoming allowing wolves to be shot on sight across more than 80 percent of the state, there is no way protections for wolves should have ever been removed.”

The 2012 delisting of wolves in Wyoming turned wolf management over to the state, which opened up over 80 percent of its land to unlimited wolf killing and provided weak protections for wolves in the remainder. Since the delisting, 219 wolves have been killed under Wyoming’s management. Prior to the 2012 reversal of its position, the Fish and Wildlife Service denied Wyoming the authority to manage wolves in the state due to its extremely hostile anti-wolf laws and policies.

Background: There were once up to 2 million gray wolves living in North America, but the animals were driven to near-extinction in the lower 48 states by the early 1900s. After passage of the federal Endangered Species Act in 1973 and protection of the wolf as endangered, federal recovery programs resulted in the rebound of wolf populations in limited parts of the country. Roughly 5,500 wolves currently live in the continental United States — a fraction of the species’ historic numbers.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is currently proposing to remove Endangered Species Act protection for most gray wolves across the United States, a proposal that the groups strongly oppose; a final decision could be made later this year.

http://earthjustice.org/news/press/2014/victory-for-wolves-in-wyoming

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Posted in: Wolf Wars, Wyoming wolves

Photo: Courtesy Earth Justice

Tags: Wyoming wolves regain protections, Earth Justice, Tim Preso, Victory

Wyoming’s “Dead-Wolves-Walking”…

Canyon Pack wolf, Yellowstone National Park (Mark Wheeler)

Two wolves were killed on the first day of Wyoming’s trophy hunt, taking place outside of Yellowstone National Park, which opened October 1.  God only knows what wolves are suffering in the rest of the shoot-on-sight Cowboy state. Are they being poisoned, trapped, snared, set on fire, run over? The answer is shrouded in evil darkness.  There is very little oversight concerning the “dead-wolves-walking”. Their deaths aren’t required to be reported to the state for ten days and who in the hell is going to enforce that when no license is required and anyone can kill a wolf in the “predator zone”.

The wolf killing comes at a time when Yellowstone wolves numbers are dropping, hit hard by disease, mange being one of the main culprits. Sarcoptic mange was introduced into the wolf population in the early 1900’a by the state of Montana, to decimate wolves and more than a hundred years later it’s still plaguing park wolves.

 Holding a trophy hunt outside of Yellowstone to kill 52 wolves,  while blowing wolves away in 80 percent of the state is sick. The wolves are habituated due to a constant human presence, so I’m sure they will be easy pickings,   Trophy hunting is sheer blood lust, killing for the fun of it.

“For hunters, hunting is fun. Recreation is play. Hunting is recreation. Hunters kill for play, for entertainment. They kill for the thrill of it, to make an animal “theirs”. (The Gandhian doctrine of non-possesion has never been a big hit with hunters.) The animal becomes the property of the hunter by its death. Alive, the beast belongs only to itself. This is unacceptable to the hunter”….Joy Williams

People come from all over the world to view Yellowstone wolves, Wolf tourism generates over 35 million dollars in the GYA,  If you were planning a trip to Wyoming, call their tourism department and let them know you won’t be setting foot in the state due to the wolf massacre.

According to an article in the Powell Tribune there is little chance environmental groups will be able to stop the “predator zone” killing until after the first of year:

“Although two environmental groups intend to sue over the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to delist wolves in Wyoming, it is unlikely they will stop wolf hunting in Wyoming, at least this year. Both Earthjustice and WildEarth Guardians sent intent-to-sue notices last month.

Even so, a local official said he believes environmental groups pushing for wolf re-listing in Wyoming don’t have a legal leg to stand on.

They must wait 60 days after notification before they can file the lawsuit in federal court. At this time, Earthjustice’s clients have not asked the firm to file a preliminary injunction to discontinue hunting in Wyoming, said Jenny Harbine, an Earthjustice attorney.

Earthjustice represents Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity, Harbine said.

Chances are any legal action would not halt wolf hunting this year, but after the end of the year, the suits could stop the shoot-on-sight policy in the predator zone, Harbine said.  

The Endangered Species Act requires a species to be biologically recovered and have adequate protections in place before delisting to ensure it is not driven to the brink of extinction, Harbine said.

“We believe Wyoming’s wolf management scheme is insignificant to protect the Wyoming wolf population from excessive human mortality,” Harbine said.

In both the trophy and predator zones, ranchers now can kill wolves they believe are threatening their livestock or domestic animals. It appears a loophole in state statute would allow those ranchers to put out bait to attract wolves, and that could lead to the killing of a significant number of wolves, Harbine said.”

How many wolves do you think the killers can destroy from now until 2013?

BOYCOTT WYOMING!

Wyoming Travel & Tourism

Office of Tourism Director Diane Shober

1-307-777-2808,
 diane.shober@wyo.gov

1520 Etchepare Circle
Cheyenne, WY 82007

TEL: 307-777-7777
FAX: 307-777-2877
E-MAIL: info@visitwyo.gov
TOLL FREE: 800-225-5996

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Wolf hunt begins

Written by Gib Mathers

October 2, 2012

Wyoming’s first regulated wolf hunt started Monday, and challenges from environmental groups are not expected to stop it this year.

Two gray wolves had reportedly been killed in Wyoming’s trophy zones as of late Monday afternoon. One was killed in the Sunlight area, and the other in the Pacific Creek area, said Eric Keszler, a Game and Fish spokesman in Cheyenne.

Wyoming’s first regulated wolf hunt started Monday, and challenges from environmental groups are not expected to stop it this year.

Two gray wolves had reportedly been killed in Wyoming’s trophy zones as of late Monday afternoon. One was killed in the Sunlight area, and the other in the Pacific Creek area, said Eric Keszler, a Game and Fish spokesman in Cheyenne.

By Friday, 2,236 wolf licenses had been sold in Wyoming, all but 53 of them to state residents.

With 562 licenses purchased, “Park County was still No. 1,” said Keszler.

Hunting will be allowed from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31 in the northwest corner of the state, except in area 12, which is a seasonal trophy game management area in northern Lincoln and Sublette counties from Oct. 15 to Dec. 31.

Wyoming has a total quota of 52 wolves across all 12 trophy game hunt areas.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced last month it would entrust Wyoming with managing wolf numbers. The service has endorsed Wyoming’s wolf-management plan, which allows for wolves to be shot on sight in most of the state, while keeping them permanently protected in designated areas such as Yellowstone National Park.

Gov. Matt Mead has called the hunt “scientifically sound.”

Although two environmental groups intend to sue over the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to delist wolves in Wyoming, it is unlikely they will stop wolf hunting in Wyoming, at least this year. Both Earthjustice and WildEarth Guardians sent intent-to-sue notices last month.

Even so, a local official said he believes environmental groups pushing for wolf re-listing in Wyoming don’t have a legal leg to stand on.

They must wait 60 days after notification before they can file the lawsuit in federal court. At this time, Earthjustice’s clients have not asked the firm to file a preliminary injunction to discontinue hunting in Wyoming, said Jenny Harbine, an Earthjustice attorney.

Earthjustice represents Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity, Harbine said.

Chances are any legal action would not halt wolf hunting this year, but after the end of the year, the suits could stop the shoot-on-sight policy in the predator zone, Harbine said.

The Endangered Species Act requires a species to be biologically recovered and have adequate protections in place before delisting to ensure it is not driven to the brink of extinction, Harbine said.

“We believe Wyoming’s wolf management scheme is insignificant to protect the Wyoming wolf population from excessive human mortality,” Harbine said.

READ MORE: http://www.powelltribune.com/news/item/10179-wolf-hunt-begins

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Yellowstone Wolves Hit by Disease

Live Science

Megan Gannon, News Editor
Date: 10 September 2012 Time: 11:23 AM ET
Less than two decades after wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park, viral diseases like mange threaten the stability of the new population.

Humans had killed off gray wolves in the region by the 1930s, but in 1995, U.S. wildlife officials tried to restore the native population by bringing 31 wolves captured from Canada into the national park.

The new wolf community initially expanded rapidly, climbing to more than 170 at its peak. But researchers from Penn State University say that the most recent data show the number of animals has dipped below 100.

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Top Photo: Courtesy Mike Wheeler

Bottom Photo: Courtesy LA Times

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Wyoming wolves

Tags: Boycott Wyoming, wolf massacre, innocent wolves, killing puppies, blood lust, trophy hunting is evil,  USFWS  responsible, Earthjustice

Remembering Limpy’: The Life and Death of Wolf 253

Limpy

Limpy – Wolf 253

On March 28, 2008, almost seven years ago, a cherished Druid Peak pack wolf named Limpy,  was shot dead outside Daniel,Wyoming.  It happened on the day wolves, in the Northern Rockies, lost their ESA protections for the first time, by the then Bush Administration. 

“He died for nothing”  said Lake City resident Marlene Foard.  A senseless death for a beloved wolf.

RIP Limpy – we remember and miss you!

Here is Limpy’s story told  by the Trib.com and Earth Justice.

 ===

The life and death of wolf 253

Posted: Sunday, April 13, 2008 12:00 am  Trib.com

FRANZ CAMENZIND

A wolf died the other day in Wyoming. Along with three others, it was shot and killed on the first day that wolves in most of the state lost the protection of the Endangered Species Act. These were legal kills made by people simply because they could. Nothing more was required of them but to report the kills to state officials – no license, no fees, no restrictions.

For sportsmen, one of the proudly held rules is: “Know Your Target.” What did these hunters know about their targets?

One of the four dead wolves was a female that may have been pregnant. Two of the males were unknown and will be remembered simply as body count numbers in the West’s war on wolves. But one wolf has a history known to many throughout the region. To some he was “Limpy,” to others he was “The Wanderer.” Officially, he was 253M, the 253rd wolf to be radio-collared in the Greater Yellowstone area since wolves were reintroduced in the mid-90s.

253M was born in April 2000 into the Druid Peak Pack, whose territory encompasses Yellowstone National Park’s Lamar Valley. His father was likely 21M, a leader of renown and a story unto himself. 21M was one of the first generation of wolves born in Yellowstone in more than 60 years.

253M was black, as are nearly half of Yellowstone’s wolves. Before he was two, he was injured defending his territory from intruders from a nearby pack. Although the Druids held their territory, 253M’s left hind leg was injured, causing a life-long limp distinguishing him from other wolves.

In the fall of 2002, he left his home territory, typical behavior for wolves of that age. Later that fall, on Nov. 30, 253M was accidentally caught in a trap set for coyotes about 20 miles northeast of Salt Lake City, making him the first confirmed wolf in Utah in more than 70 years. Tracks around the site suggested that he was traveling with another wolf – perhaps they were a pair exploring for a place to begin a new life.

253M was taken back to Wyoming and released three days later by a federal biologist south of Yellowstone Park. He made his way back to the Druid Pack before Christmas, surprising the “experts,” who thought he would immediately head back south.

This second time around, he remained with the Druids for nearly two years and rose to the level of second-ranking male – subordinate only to the now-famous, but aging, 21M. In the summer of 2004, 21M died, and most observers thought that 253M would take over as leader of the Druids. But again, he managed to fool the experts and waged only a minor battle with “New Black,” as the victor and new Druid leader came to be known.

Immediately after New Black assumed his alpha status, 253M broke from the pack and began wandering about Yellowstone, mostly undetected, only to unexpectedly appear on the National Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole – 90 miles south of his birthplace – alone, but looking healthy.

It was in early 2005 that 253M may have fathered his only offspring. He was observed with another male and female, and 5 pups, forming the new Flat Creek Pack. But within a year, 253M again headed south, and the Flat Creek Pack dissolved. The cause of the sudden disintegration of this new pack will never be known. Was 253M simply living up to one of his names, The Wanderer?

Meanwhile, the Daniel Pack, which roamed across a mix of ranching and wild lands 60 miles southeast of Jackson, was implicated in cattle depredations and thus under constant surveillance and control. Sometime in the next year or so, 253M found his way into this persecuted pack.

During his eight years of travel across thousands of miles and at least two states, 253M was never accused of any destruction of human property. He was a “good wolf” – one who adapted to his human-dominated world. The kind of wolf we should be able to live with.

But on the morning of March 28, his luck ran out. Not because of anything he did, but because of what a minority of people in Wyoming wanted – to take all protection off wolves in 88 percent of the state, where anyone can now kill any wolf by any means at any time. 253M and three others were killed for nothing more than being wolves in Wyoming’s politically designated predator zone.

253M and other wolves are now dead in Wyoming because some don’t want wolves in the Equality State.

Now we “Know The Target.” What have we learned?

Franz Camenzind is executive director of the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance.

http://trib.com/editorial/forum/article_124999b7-cf79-5ce6-bb05-48213d55554b.html

 

Uploaded April 2009 DOW

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Limpy: The Story of Wolf 253

Wolf 253 was one of the first casualties as the federal government stripped Endangered Species protections for gray wolves in the northern Rockies. But this particular wolf was unique.

He was known by the nicknames of “Limpy” or “Hoppy,” depending on who you talk to; the name comes from an old injury that left him crippled for life. His official designation was Wolf 253, part of the wolf population brought back from the verge of extinction in the northern Rockies, and one of 1,500 gray wolves that lost federal protections in March when the federal government “delisted” wolves from the Endangered Species Act.

And on March 28, 2008, he was shot dead.

Limpy wasn’t just any old wolf. His distinctive gait, walking on three legs, made him one of the more easily recognized wolves in Yellowstone. Among his pack, too, he was unique: he was taller than Wolf 21, his father and the alpha male of the Druid pack that roamed the open fields in Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley.

Wolf-watchers in the northern Rockies say Limpy grew up charging after elk at the same speed as the rest of his pack, despite the injury that hobbled him as a pup. He played an important role in the Druid pack, tending to pups and defending the pack’s main den from bears.

As a young male, Limpy left the safety and security of the Druid pack and struck out on his own. He trotted south out of Yellowstone Park, and traveled across southern Wyoming until he crossed the Utah border. A trapper chasing coyotes in the mountains 20 miles from Salt Lake City caught Limpy in one of his traps. It was November, 2002, and the first confirmed wolf sighting in Utah in 70 years.

Once, hundreds of thousands of wolves roamed the great expanse of the northern Rockies. Decimated by decades of unregulated slaughter and persecution, gray wolves were pushed to the brink of extinction. In 1973, gray wolves became one of the first animals to appear on the Endangered Species list. With the help of legal protections afforded by the Endangered Species Act, wolves in the northern Rockies had begun making a comeback when Hoppy arrived.

The wolf trapper called the US Fish and Wildlife, who sent a man down from Wyoming to fetch Limpy. The injured wolf was loaded in the back of a truck and driven to the far northern stretches of Grand Teton National Park, where he was released back into the wild two days later.

“He was a hell of a wolf,” recalls one veteran wolf-watcher. “After he was released with a hurt foot from the coyote trap, he crossed the territories of probably four hostile wolf packs in order to rejoin his old pack in Yellowstone Park.”

No one witnessed Limpy’s reunion with the Druid pack; it happened under cover of darkness. But the next morning, when one avid wolf-watcher and local photographer spotted Limpy back with his former pack, he was stunned.

“He was in bad shape,” recalled the photographer. “Must’ve been down to two and a half legs.”

Survival is a strong instinct, and so is the natural inclination of wolves to live in close-knit families and packs. Limpy was welcomed back to the Druid pack, and resumed the life he’d known years before.

Eventually, Limpy left the safety of Yellowstone and headed south again. He spent a year near an elk refuge near Jackson, then moved on toward Pinedale, feeding on elk, an occasional deer, and probably a smattering of jackrabbits and mice.

Limpy must have known that elk could be found around man-made feeding grounds, where elk are concentrated and disease is easily transmitted. Limpy was one of many wolves who preyed on elk grazing the land, helping keep the populations in check and thinning the herds of the sick and weak.

Limpy had, however, crossed into Sublette County, where local grocery stores sell bumper stickers that read “Wolves — Government-sponsored terrorists!” Some ranchers and farmers don’t hold much love for wolves, which they see only as predator… despite the fact that many animals are, by their very nature, predators. It’s a brutal fact of nature. It’s how they survive.

In the end, Limpy’s venture outside the safety of Yellowstone Park’s official boundaries proved fatal. After eight years spent traveling over thousands of miles, he was shot — along with another male and a female wolf — near the elk feeding ground a few miles outside Daniel, Wyoming on March 28, 2008. He became one of the first casualties in a resurrected war against wolves that began the day the federal government stripped Endangered Species protections from gray wolves across the northern Rockies.

Limpy’s death was reported to the state, as required under new Wyoming wolf rules, and word of his killing quickly spread across the Internet. The Salt Lake City Tribune picked up the story, and talked with several people who were fans of the old wolf with the bum leg.

“He died for nothing,” lamented Salt Lake City resident Marlene Foard. “If there was a reason to kill him, I could live with that. But there wasn’t.”

Another reader wrote in an e-mail, “I think they have no idea what they have done by killing this particular wolf.”

And Franz Camenzind, executive director of the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, said people knew wolves had been hanging around the feeding ground, but none had been seen attacking cattle herds or destroying human property. As Camenzind told the Salt Lake City Tribune, Limpy was “a good wolf. He covered thousands of miles and didn’t cause any trouble.”

Come fall, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana expect to approve formal, legalized wolf hunts. Right now, except for a small area just outside Yellowstone in Wyoming, all you need is just a gun and a steady aim to legally shoot a wolf.

But there’s still hope for the rest of the wolves in the northern Rockies. In the past, Earthjustice has opposed several previous versions of Wyoming’s plans to declare wolves enemies of the state, and this time around we’re heading back to court to press for reinstating ESA protection for gray wolves in the region.

Our goal is to get the federal government to come up with a more realistic wolf recovery plan… something that recognizes recent science findings about a species that fought for 30 years to recover from nearly a century of devastating slaughter. The current plan could allow Idaho, Wyoming and Montana to hunt down wolves far and wide, and reduce a population of 1,500 wolves across three states to a mere 300 survivors.

Sadly, Limpy won’t be among their numbers.

http://www.earthjustice.org/library/features/hoppy-the-story-of-wolf-253.html

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Photo: Courtesy Steve Justad

Posted in:  wolf 253,  Endangered Species Act,  Wolf wars

Tags: Endangered Species Act, wolf intolerance, Limpy, Wolf 253, Druid Peak Pack, RIP Limpy

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