Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Killer Wolves?

       This is something I hear, in some form, somewhat frequently (this exact comment was left on the National Wolfwatcher Coalition Facebook page): "I suggest killing every wolf outside of a zoo or very remote areas. If you are offended, please have a loved one take a walk in the woods of Idaho unarmed." 
I have, in fact, "walked in the woods of Idaho (as well as Wyoming, Montana, and Washington wolf country) unarmed," and I have yet to be threatened, much less attacked, by wild wolves. I have spent time with no protection but a backpack or a tent, tracking, hearing and seeing wolves, and have never once felt in danger. But don't take my word for it: Americans take between 16 and 35 million trips to wilderness each year; only 2 people have been killed by healthy wolves in North America in the last 100 years (neither of which were in the lower 48 states). By comparison, cattle kill more than 20 people every year; that's about 1000 times more than wolves. Wolves generally avoid humans.

       All wild animals are dangerous, but wolves aren't any more dangerous than other wildlife. 

Photo of wolf tracks in Washington State. 

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