Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Washington: outcry after last four wolves in pack killed by state hunters

Environmental groups called deaths of wolves that had killed or wounded cows since 2018 ‘unbelievably tragic’

The last four members of a wolf pack that preyed on cattle in a rural Washington state area bordering Canada have been killed by state hunters, prompting protests from environmental groups.

The four wolves were part of a pack that originally had seven members and attacked cows, killing or wounding them 29 times since 2018 and nine times over the last month, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said in a statement.

Environmental groups opposed the killings, which they contended benefited one ranching operation in Ferry county in the remote Kettle River Range of mountains that stretches into the Canadian province of British Columbia.

“It’s unbelievably tragic that this wolf family has already been annihilated by the state,” said Sophia Ressler of the Center for Biologicial Diversity, which tried to block the hunt. “It seems like Washington’s wildlife agency is bent on wiping out the state’s wolves.”

Hunters for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife who were inside helicopters tracked down and shot the wolves from the air on Friday, said Sam Montgomery, an agency spokeswoman.

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