County seeks removal of wolf as precaution

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Catron County Manager Bill Aymar says officials only want to prevent problems by asking the federal government to remove a pregnant female Mexican gray wolf released on the county’s border after it killed two cows elsewhere.

But Victoria Fox, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, says the agency has no reason to remove the wolf.

The dispute over the animal — designated F924 — began as soon as it was released April 25 in southwestern New Mexico.

The next day, the county demanded it be removed as an “imminent danger.” Fish and Wildlife rejected the demand last week.

The county has threatened to invoke an ordinance, passed in February, in which the county claims the right to remove wolves that are accustomed to humans or have a high probability of harming children or other defenseless people, physically or psychologically.

Read the entire Associated Press story by clicking here.

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34 responses to “County seeks removal of wolf as precaution

  1. It is my feeling that further wilderness areas should be totally off limits to recreation for the following reasons:
    First of all, not all wildlife is comfortable around humans, and want to be able to get away from them. Instead they are followed by the good people that are allowed into their territory. As numbers of sensitive species like bears and wolves increase, they really need places that humans cannot follow them. There is evidence that wildlife tolerate vehicles easier than humans on foot. It doesn’t make sense to protect them by sending in foot armies after closing the roads.
    Second, there is a potential problem no one wants to address, and that is the depositing of human waste in back country all over the place. Tons of it are deposited every year, yet no one gives more that cursory attention to it. While there are a few articles on the aesthetics and health issues for humans as in the article I’ve included, there are no studies that I can find regarding the effects on wildlife. Anyone who thinks a bear that can rip a car door off to obtain food, can’t dig up a couple of inches of dirt to reach human feces is kidding themselves.
    We have no idea of the disease that may be spread by hikers into ever more remote areas.
    http://www.aldha.org/waste.htm

  2. All that I’ll say about that is that I worked 50 to 60 hour work weeks (sometimes more) for many years, yet still managed to find time to day hike and occasionally overnight backpack in my local wilderness area. I also spent many week long vacations there because I couldn’t afford to go anywhere else, and I enjoyed the solitude after all those hours working with the public. I would say that anyone working that many hours 52 weeks a year is either very rich or needs to find another job.
    The type of wilderness you describe would, of course, be ideal for wildlife; but would never be approved of by people.
    As for people who are infirm; what about tennis ranches, health clubs, basketball/football teams etc. Not everybody can do everything….and some “infirm” will surprise the heck out of you. Years ago I knew a fellow who lost both legs in the war and could beat me at just about anything except checkers (which is the one thing you might expect him to beat me at!)
    Another nice discussion, Marion. Thank you.

  3. I am in favor of increased wilderness only if it is true wilderness, not class wilderness. In other words if it is wilderness no one goes in except on official business. Not just keeping the commoners out. Wilderness designations have become a caste system to keep out those who are infirm, have to work many hours 50-52 weeks a year, and just allow those who have the time and money for extended vacations, and are of the better class of people. They don’t want their forests messed up by a bunch of kids or red necks out there enjoying themselves.

  4. “….we have seen this thing with our own eyes….it is not a wolf;” is pretty compelling.
    There is plenty of habitat left for the bears, including a connective corridor to Glacier and Canada. We just have to protect it. Just as with Global Warming, there is still time to do something…..but time is running out.
    Though I do not want to get into yet another discussion here about the benefits of Wilderness, I would strongly urge folks to check out the “Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act” for themselves, and urge their representatives in Washington to support it.

    http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org/issues/nrepa/index.html

    Using your words: “Endangered habitat actually makes more sense…”
    This would solve the problem of grizzly de-listing. Habitat would be insured for the future, our wilderness heritage would be insured for our grandchildren. No one would have to give up their homes or food……..indeed thousands of acres of wildlife habitat would insure quality future hunting and fishing opportunities.

    I’m not sure what “rock hard ideas” you have in mind. I never meant that wolves have NEVER hurt ANYONE nor that they NEVER KILLED ANYONE. Merely that it is so rare as to not lose sleep over. Other animals hurt far, far, far, far more than wolves ever have. The point is that wolves ARE JUST ANIMALS, and just like most other animals (including people) they hurt and kill other animals. Indeed, just like people, wolves kill other animal for a living. But they RARELY attack people. That is well documented. It’s like saying, “Disease ‘A’ kills one or two people a year, and disease ‘B’ kills 10,000” and we are fixated on curing disease ‘A’.
    They are just animals, not devil dogs and not angels. The sooner that both lovers and haters of wolves get that through their skulls, the sooner we will all find common ground.

  5. Endangered habitat actually makes more sense than insisting that there be more grizzlies because there isn’t enough food for them, nor enough places for them to live. Of course it might prove difficult to convince even the most liberal judge to take away human homes and food and give it to the bears.
    I saw the program on tv, it showed a few of the children’s bones around the den. It also discussed how many people were killed because they thought other humans had done the killing. As I remember it was a Discovery program, and well worth watching, if for no reason other than blowing a few rock hard ideas out of the water.

  6. From your own story:
    “The girl’s grandfather, Ram Lakhan Panday, who drove a truck in Calcutta for 50 years before retiring to his native village, said: “As long as officials pressure us to say it was a wolf, we’ll say it was a wolf. But we have seen this thing with our own eyes. It is not a wolf; it is a human being.””
    Some animals should never be de-listed. The goal of the ESA should not be how many animals (plants etc.) are de-listed after listing, but rather how many are saved. The problem with grizzlies in the GYE is not numbers but habitat. Perhaps they should have a list for that: The Endangered Habitat Act.

  7. It is probably not a good idea to use absolutes. There is a tv program on the 40+ kids killed by wolves in India.
    http://www.wolfsongalaska.org/Wolves_South_Asia_man_eating.htm
    If I was able to make one and only one change to the ESA, it would make delisting as definate as listing, no lawsuits. Every single criteria would be laid out before anything took place. As it is now, it has simply evolved into a means for one group of people to exercise control over another group because they have more money, better lawyers, or whatever. The species itself takes second place to the control issue.
    You must have looked formidable to that mama robin, they let me look at their babies and photograph them. I love them.

  8. Rob, this is great news. If I could convert one wolf lover per day for the next 3 years it would just about equal the number of wolves currently flowing in and out of Idaho. Even though I do not agree with your views I have to admit you guys are one funny and entertaining group of enviros.

  9. I recall as a kid, I believe about eight or so, I climbed a tree in the early summer to look in a robins nest. Momma Robin kicked the holy bejesus out of me. Fell out of the tree sprained my ankle and fled in terror with momma in hot pursuit. For the past 30 + years I have had innumerable face to face hands on interactions with wolves. Females with pups, Alpha males, various individuals, groups, and ages. Been growled at, never bitten or attacked. So in my personal experience a momma Robin is way more dangerous than wolves.

  10. The bottom line point is: numbers don’t lie. Pick a country. Any country. Not enough wolves in the states for you? Pick Canada, Russia….you name it, and show me where school children, rancher kids, rural subdividees……..heck anyone…..who is being carried off by wolves!! Don’t tell me what might happen, could happen, probably will happen…..show me the numbers to back it up! No numbers? You’re just babbling nonsense! I could claim that house cats are an extreme danger to our kids and make as much sense! More so in fact, because I could produce numbers.
    Heck, we all KNOW FOR A FACT that Yellowstone is going to blow up in the biggest explosion of molten goo that the civilized world has ever known, sooner or later! Why aren’t we worried about THAT? Rather than worry about wolves eating our kids, which is something that has never happened anywhere, ever…..except in fables? This never even happened in pioneer times when there were tens of thousands of wolves in what became the United States. Never once have I read that the wolves were wiped out because they were killing our kids!!
    Marion, it WON’T BE A BIG DEAL if someone gets bitten by a wolf! No matter who it is! That was my whole point! So it would be Foxes: 500, Wolves 1 or Dogs 4.5 million, Wolves 1 or Deer: God Only Knows, Wolves 1. You name it. Why should one or two injuries from wolves hold so much more weight? Mess with ANY animal enough and it will fight back. Even my cat! I have the scares to prove it.
    As recent events show: hike into grizzly country when you know bears are active and present=nutso! But thousands of people, yours truly included, hike through wolf country every year. Not one attack. Not one injury.
    Ever wonder why so many coyotes are building dens near the road in Yellowstone lately? Many believe that it is because they prefer people to wolves, and they have learned that wolves TYPICALLY avoid the roads. Why? Because wolves tend to AVOID PEOPLE.
    Your side saying that wolves are a danger to people makes about as much sense as my side saying that wolves never kill livestock.
    One last time: the 10/100 was simply a benchmark to indicate recovery, not a maximum number. It’s kind of like saying, “OK, when we have 100 California Condors in the wild they will be recovered…..so we can start shooting any additional birds!!”
    Rob: Keep up the good work. Remember, you promised to document when I parachute buck naked into wolf country!!

  11. Rob Edward

    Why shoot, Ron. I think you’ve converted me. God, I’m so $%&^ing Orwellian, I didn’t even see the lies I was perpetrating!

  12. Marion, stick to your guns. Your observations make perfect sence to those of us who live in the impacted areas. I believe your comment about Disney is right on, how can a family of wolves all dressed up and heading to church pose a threat to anyone? You could almost go crazy reading all the twists and turns posted by the enviros to justify their protection of one species at the cost of others. If it is any predator or particular species of snail they will justify any and all means to protect regardless of the cost to humans or other animals. Black becomes white, up is down, wisdom becomes foolishness and the fools become wise……

  13. Frank, I was agreeing with you that it will happen sooner or later a human is bitten and or killed by a wolf pack. I was pointing out how it will be diminsished as unworthy of notice by enviros.
    I suspect disease is going to be a bigger issue with them as their numbers keep exploding, than human attacks unless of course one of those diseases happens to be rabies.
    There was also a rich out of state rancher in Idaho or Montana that made a big deal about the ease and value of living with wolves, that is until he got hit the second time himself, then not only did the wolves get destroyed, he wanted the compensation too. I believe Ralph tried to make the case that it wasn’t really hypocrisy though.
    We were supposed to be able to maintain 10/100 wolves per state (and of course they made a big deal about the Wyoming wolves staying in Yellowstone), now jsut like 150 years ago, the government/ white man’s word isn’t worth spit, he speaks with a forked tongue! I don’t think 10 times that will be enough for enviros.

  14. Yes, Jeff. As you no doubt have read in the countless stories out of Canada and Alaska, that sort of thing happens all of the time. 500 people a year injured by fox! How hard do you have to work to be injured by a fox?
    I’m a bit confused, Marion, are you now saying that there aren’t very many wolves in the Northern Rockies? Seriously, I think you should stick to the predation line. When you talk about predation you have a credible argument. Occasionally wolves do get into trouble that way. I fully believe that ranchers should be assisted in every way possible (short of lethal control of wolves on public land, and arbitrary reductions) to avoid wolf predation. I believe in full compensation in a timely manner. I believe that if a wolf is found among the sheep on private land that the rancher should be able to shoot it. I believe all of this despite the fact that wolves only account for one half of one percent of total loses. Did you read the story on Ralph’s page about the one rancher who does not use lethal measures against coyotes (which in Wyoming account for 70 percent of predation loses) has fewer loses than his neighbors who persecute them? Proof that non lethal methods work.
    When you talk about predation, I listen. I think: we have to find a middle ground. There must be a way to keep both wolves and cattle ranches, and the good people who own them. When you talk “Little Red Riding Hood” and children being gobbled up, you lose credibility……at least with me.

  15. Marion,
    But Marion, you have stated that wolves are carnivores and will eat any meat they can get and will do so without any sentiment. So if that is the case why are there no kids being snatched out of front yards, out of tents, on scout outings hiking, out of school yards, etc. etc. To listen to you there ought be to or three parents a year come out to the yard and find a tricycle turned over with the wheels still turning or a swing still SWAYING.

  16. There are how many deer, and how many wolves? The hue and cry will depend on who gets bitten or worse killed. If it is a ranch kid in Wyoming, we’ll hear how many kids die in auto accidents. If it is an enviro we’ll hear how it was habituated and how the states are liable and should pay.

  17. According to the GAO, in addition to the 4.5 million dog attacks a year 27,000 people each year are injured by rodents. Another 8,000 are bitten by venomous snakes; 15 of them die. Skunks wound 750 humans a year, foxes get 500, bears (black and grizzly) 30, sharks 28, alligators 18, and coyotes and cougars two each. Wanna have fun? Look up deer injuries on the net! Wolves still average a big goose egg, despite the swarms (according to some) of them to be found in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes. Yet when it happens, and it will….wolves are only ‘er….human! Sooner or later someone will torment one into biting back, or rabid or cross-breed or severely habituated animal will bite someone; we can be assured of hearing from our good friends in the anti-wolf crowd screaming from the rafters: “SEE, SEE!!! WE TOLD YOU SO!!!!” I can hear it now!!

  18. Well Todd, good to see you popping up. I thought you’d probably gotten out of school and moved on by now. I don’t know what comments I could have made about the Lake Trout that would have upset you, pretty much my only comment has been that I remember my uncle trolling for them in Yellowstone Lake back in the 50s.
    The grizzlies going to school and wolf problems are certainly documented in many places. That is a fact of life here, not necessarily a rant, unless one doesn’t want to know about it.

  19. todd_in_fc

    Having read Marion’s posts over the last 5 years, I am sorry to conclude (long ago) that Inky’s comments are on target. From lake trout in Yellowstone Lake, to wolves in the West, to backcountry travelers digging pits, to grizzlies in elementary schools — she has a standard rant that is not open to discussion. Marion’s world a stagnate world, stuck in the myth of the West.

    To hear her talk you would think she fends off grizzlies in the morning, wolves at dinner, and urbanites whenever she can find them. Truth is she not a farmer or a rancher. She is just a disgruntled person with A LOT of time on her hands.

  20. Inky, could you please provide us with your experiences dealing with predators? I grew up with them, and have had bum lambs killed and maimed in the front yard.
    It never ceases to amaze me that all of the folks who through eons of time have lived and survived around predators are all believing in fairy tales (never mind the fact they told and wrote most of them based on their experiences) know nothing about predators. On the other hand those who live in 20th and 21st century cities know “The Truth” about how wonderful predators are. This knowlege seems based on Disney movies and books written and read by each other in their city lofts and apartments.
    I have to admit to getting my news from Fox (as well as many different online papers), which seemed preferable to Dan Rather and his made up news, but I have not heard them discussing the predator situation.

  21. Marion is a dedicated, persistent advocate of what she perceives to be folk wisdom, but is really profound ignorance, gleaned from neighbors who get all their news from Rush, Fox News and others of that ilk. Science and reality are meaningless, while rumor, folklore and gross exaggerations are her stock in trade. For all the questions she asks, she really doesn’t want answers or reasoned discourse.

  22. The “lone coyote” is largely a myth. I have been studying them for years in the east (where they regularly reach 40+lbs, sometimes getting as large as 60lbs). Although they may travel alone when foraging, they do live in packs and often they do travel in pairs or more.
    Your logic about wolves being more likely to attack makes absolutely no sense. The numbers simply do not back up your theories. Why havent the people in canada and alaska been regularly attacked by wolves? I have read of wolves (cant remember where) having their pups taken and following the people who took the pups for miles without attacking. Only howling. Am I supposed to believe that wolves are dangerous just because you say so? You certainly do not offer any evidence…

  23. Coyotes are scavengers and are well adapted to virtually any region in the US. They are even documented roaming/scavanging in Los Angeles, New Yord City, Dallas, and other large cities. They do not necessarily roam in packs as wolves but are more of a loner. Growing up on a farm/ranch we would see individual coyotes all the time. They would follow behing the swather and catch mice after a field had been cut. They did not do this in a pack but as lone coyotes. We would also see them chase and kill rabbits as individuals. This is probably why coyotes do not attack people.

    Wolves, on the other hand, would not adapt very well to most areas in the US as they are a large predator, do not waste time and energy scavenging for mice and rabbits, and would not be seen in the cities. Unlike coyotes, wolves depend upon the pack to assist in killing their prey. They are a much larger animal than a coyote so killing mice and rabbits is not on their priority list as they need to kill the largest prey they can find without expending too much energy. This is where the pack comes in and, of course, the large prey. This is also why a human would be more likely to be attacked by a wolf in the wild than a coyote. Their is safety in numbers so wolves would not necessarily be afraid of humans if you stumbled onto their den of pups. I have come across many coyote dens and in most cases the parents just wander off out of your reach, keeping a close eye on you, but have never attacked me. One time we even removed the pups from the den, observed them while the parents were 40 yards away, put the pups back in the den, and left. You would not be able to do this with wolves.

  24. Out of curiosity, does anyone know an estimate of how many coyotes live in north america? Never thought about it before. The only number I can find online is 4 million (seems kind of low for US and Canada).

  25. Wolfen, there are many thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of coyotes in this country, many in urban areas very close to people. Why are there only a handful of coyote attacks per year? Could it be that worrying about wild animals being dangerous is a misplaced effort to further demonize and create fear towards wild animal species? All I am saying is that if someone’s argument for removing wolves is “it will make our children safer” they would do much more good fighting against pitbull ownership for example if keeping humans safe is their goal.

  26. Steve, your comparison of dog attacks versus wolf attacks is irrelevant in this case. I think Marion ignores the fact that dogs bit millions of people each year because these are domesticated animals, we live with them and expect them to be pets. There are sharp differences between wolves and dogs attacks. Listed below are just some of them.

    First, dogs outnumber wolves 10,000,000+ to 1 wolf.
    Second, dogs are humans pets so they live with and around humans.
    Third, having that many dogs hanging around humans, and not necessarily the owner, dog attacks are going to happen.
    Fourth, statistically that many dog attacks is within the norm predicted.

    Fifth, last but not least, if wolves were bound by humans like the dog is then statistically there would be at least that many wolf attacks, probably more. And these attacks would probably be fatal unlike the dog attacks you list above.

    Sixth, therefore, if there were that many wolves around us humans would all be on the wolves list for easy prey.

  27. Check this out, Jeff. Maybe there are too many housecats in Idaho!

    http://www.boston.com/news/odd/articles/2007/03/10/woman_hospitalized_from_house_cat_attack/

  28. Just recently on MBNBC there was a story about a squirrel at a school in California that had attacked without provocation at a school. One child, two adults on three separate occasions. So in the last twelve years in the United States the score is squirrels 3(or more) wolves 0.

  29. Marion, how can you continue to gloss over the fact that dogs bite MILLIONS of people per year in this country? Banning certain breeds of dogs would in one year prevent mor injuries to people than wolves have caused in all of recorded US history. Pointing out an isolated case here and there does not prove your theory that wolves are dangerous. You really need to take your blinders off.

    http://www.dogbitelaw.com/PAGES/statistics.html

  30. Well, they sure don’t run from humans all of the time. One attacked a dog being walked by the owner to the barn to keep it from being killed by wolves as others of their dogs had been…in their yard.
    Then there is this situation:
    http://www.wolfsongalaska.org/wolves_humans_wolf_ground.html

  31. Yes, yes, I’ve read that well documented story! All those unrelated witnesses! Leaves little doubt about the validity of THAT story! Actually, I’d growl if a bunch of people started throwing rocks at me too! Even if this story is as reported, all I am reading about is a curious animal, not an aggressive one. A curious animal that people started throwing rocks at.
    Marion, there will always be INDIVIDUAL animals (of ANY species) that do not fit the norm. Rabid, fed and habituated etc. There have been many (really) well documented cases of deer attacking people. Does this mean that our kids are in danger? Don’t let junior out! Killer Bambi is grazing on the lawn!! Statistics clearly show that deer are more dangerous to humans than wolves.
    Here is what I know: Every time I have come upon wolves in the wild (hiking in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho), every time anyone I know has come upon wolves in the wild, the wolves have turned and ran the moment they saw us.
    This is not one or two cases, nor ten or twelve; but many, many cases.
    Sometimes deer do, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes elk do, sometimes they don’t. Wolves do every single time.

  32. Frank, you just stated the wrong facts about a very common problem with the introduced wolves everywhere, they are NOT afraid of humans. One of the Catron county wolves tore up a horse while the owners were in town. It was still hanging around when the family returned and they threw raocks, etc trying to scare it away, it jsut growled at them. Just the terror at seeing a human I guess. There is not much shyness among them in either Wyoming or NM.

  33. Sounds like these folks are already “psychologically” damaged. Don’t need any help from the wolf. Perhaps Daddy’s rendering of “Little Red Riding Hood” was a bit too realistic when they were little.
    What needs to happen is one of these “yahoo” local politicians needs to be slapped down hard one of these days. Yes, they are in charge of their county, but we all still live in the United States; and the laws past in Washington apply to all of us. If they are really worried about kids, why don’t they outlaw domestic dogs? How many dog bites were there in this country again? How many deaths? Compared to how many wolf bites?……OK, even scratches?……Nips?…….Rough licks?…….Scowls?…….Dirty looks?
    Wonder if Momma wolves scare their pups by reciting stories about the “big bad human” eating them aaallllllll up? Wait! Maybe they do!! Maybe that’s why wolves are so shy of people, and naturally avoid them! Well, at least Momma wolf’s story is true! Unlike the human version.

  34. While I am searching for the article about the delayed DOW payments, I came across this article about the difficulties dealing with the Mexican wolf problems.
    http://wolfcrossing.org/blog/2007/04/20/april-18-gila-rod-and-gun-club-notes-by-joe-delk/