Last time I blogged about wolves, it was 30 days after the US de-listed wolves from the Endangered Species Act, stripping them of protection from needless slaughter. At that time, 37 wolves had been killed.
Now it has been 118 days, and 106 wolves have been killed.
If the states of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana have their way, at least 900 wolves - nearly 60 percent of the population - could be exterminated this fall, when a massive public hunt would begin.
Wolves were nearly exterminated in the US in the 19th Century, and Canada joined the killing spree in the 20th. It's taken decades of public education and concerted wildlife management to bring them back to anything resembling healthy numbers.
Now decades of work has been erased. The wolves are being erased.
This is heartbreaking to me, and sickening.
The NRDC has a petition drive going. I don't know if anyone is listening, but it certainly can't hurt. This group has had a lot of success in court and with Congress. They're very politically savvy and in order for a campaign to be effective, they do need to show popular support. A little international support from the Yellowstone wolves' North American neighbours can't hurt either.
Wolves are highly intelligent, social animals. They need certain numbers of their own kind to survive. If the alpha wolves don't mature and form families (known as packs), they can't reproduce, and their population will dwindle even faster than humans can kill them.
Wolves are, of course, no threat to human population or livelihood. That the irrational and unfounded hatred of wolves persists into the 21st Century is almost beyond belief.
Click on the category "animals (other than dogs)" for some photos of these magnificent creatures. And please sign the petition.