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Farewell to a Rock Star

She was the best-known wolf in the world – one of Yellowstone’s top tourist attractions. Wildlife watchers called her as a “rock star.” She was the alpha female of the park’s Lamar Canyon pack. And last week she was shot dead.

Known as 832F (also, earlier, 06F), she had teamed up with two brothers from another family to start building her own pack. She was strong, highly intelligent, and fearless in protecting her family and territory.

Wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone in 1995, and were protected, as an endangered species, in the areas beyond the park until a few months ago.

But the only protection 832F knew anything about was protecting her own family. No one had explained to her that when you step over some invisible man-made boundary, you’re no longer in Yellowstone. And while she’d faced down bears, bison and other wolf packs, she didn’t know how to face down the high-powered rifle of a hunter standing on the other side of the invisible line.

wolf-832F-meg-sommers-121012
Meg Sommers, writer and photographer with with the Yellowstone Gate park newsletter, captured this shot of the Lamar Canyon pack a few weeks ago.

Scientists had been tracking her for several years after she'd been fitted with a radio collar. And she is now the eighth wolf wearing a collar to have been killed since the hunting ban was lifted.

Like other top predators, wolves play a critical role in the ecosystem. Since the time they were brought back to Yellowstone, wolves have helped undo the damage to the valleys that was being caused by, among others, the growing numbers of elk. Now the elk have been pushed further up the mountains, which is where they should be. And in the valleys, along the banks of the creeks and rivers, the willows, cottonwoods and aspens are growing back now that their saplings aren’t all being gobbled down.

Thanks to the wolves, the beavers are back, too, building their dams, which are good for the fish, and creating new meadows, which are good for the songbirds. Ravens, bears and other scavengers are doing well because there are more carcasses. And the bison are healthier since the wolves are rarely a match for strong adult bison.

Outside the park, though, there are three invasive species: cattle and sheep and the humans who profit from them. The wolves don’t know anything about human economics and politics, but they do know a good meal when they see one. So the ranchers had been pushing to get the wolves off the endangered species list so the hunters can go after them. And this year, they won.

And so it was that 832F, having survived and triumphed over every natural adversity that nature could put in her way, finally met her match last week. She and her pack had ventured briefly out of their home area in Yellowstone National Park, and into the range of the waiting hunters, who gather just outside of Yellowstone in the surrounding areas of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.

“832F is the most famous wolf in the world,” said Jimmy Jones, a wildlife photographer when he took this portrait of her for the current issue of the magazine American Scientist:

wolf-alpha-8324-jimmyjones-120912

And now she is gone.

40 comments
Mary Finelli
Mary Finelli

Another stupid, needless, and intentional tragedy. The cattle and sheep shouldn't be there in the first place. The government needs to stop kowtowing to the ranching industries.

Mary Finelli
Mary Finelli

Another stupid, needless, and intentional tragedy. The cattle and sheep shouldn't be there in the first place. The government needs to stop kowtowing to the ranching industries.

makinart
makinart

.....and now here we are again, attempting to extirpate the wolves just as we did once before. In spite of all we have learned, here we are again in our ignorance doing the same thing as before. Have we learned nothing or are we so resigned to becoming the only species on the planet that we are willing to damage the life that sustains us? I am so sorry Madam 832F, I hope that your pack can forgive us for we know not what we do.

 

""We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes—something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view…" - Aldo Leopold

 

I am scientist and a wildlife biologist so I am faced with difficult decisions every day in my work. But I, like many of my colleagues struggle with the moral, personal and ecological consequences to what we consider bad decisions based not on science but political pressure in the pursuit of other agendas.

makinart
makinart

.....and now here we are again, attempting to extirpate the wolves just as we did once before. In spite of all we have learned, here we are again in our ignorance doing the same thing as before. Have we learned nothing or are we so resigned to becoming the only species on the planet that we are willing to damage the life that sustains us? I am so sorry Madam 832F, I hope that your pack can forgive us for we know not what we do.   ""We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes—something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view…" - Aldo Leopold   I am scientist and a wildlife biologist so I am faced with difficult decisions every day in my work. But I, like many of my colleagues struggle with the moral, personal and ecological consequences to what we consider bad decisions based not on science but political pressure in the pursuit of other agendas.

NormMackey
NormMackey

Oh, I wouldn't believe me either sabin, but decades before wolves were restored I was studying enough to fight against the idea of reserving huge newly minted wilderness areas for wolf and eagle habitat in Michigan and trying to lock people away, an idea which stank for what to me was the obvious result of that, where proposed, was essentially a climax forest too tall to browse and habitat for porcupines, red squirrels and pine martens. Though they were against the roadless expansion too I had to prod a couple sportsman's spokespeople and even DNR personnel to blame bad poachers (as opposed to hunting) instead of "wolf habitat loss" when public complained about endangered wolves re sport hunting.

 

I don't have room for personal feelings to get in the way of responsible management strategies and I don't think the ecology has room for too much of it whether a heartfelt desire to kill a wolf for sport is at hand or the deer herd has been decimated by a bad winter and not doing something would mean half the number of wolves as well in the next season. Changing game management from a design that produces steady strong reproduction, surpluses of population and biomass replacement, for sport hunting in other words, leads so quickly to obvious disaster to be untenable, sport hunting may not need wolves, but very much the opposite.

 

As someone once wrote: "perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not yet sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favor; a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of custom. But tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason." For now, it might be might be recognized that humans are emotional creatures, without it we would be horrid. So maybe it should be smart both to remember, fair or not, people care more for the social stars of the TV show "Meerkat Manor" than any rodents they hunt, and the fact that they are staying within the laws and regulations doesn't make the cobras that keep biting the current star of the band in the face any more popular with the mongoose fans; the trophy hunters who have chosen to play the role of the cobras really don't have that much room for complaint over how the individual animal's 832F's fans are saddened and emotional over the loss of what had become a source of empathic pleasure and inspiration to them.  That's the way the ball bounces, shouldn't have thrown it so hard.It seems to me that making an exception to society's rules and submitting to pay tribute to wolf poachers by giving them what they want is a bad and fairly new precedent, what with the Whiskey Rebellion and the Barbary Wars and so on, but past that, submitting to blackmailed by threats of illegal activity? Someone who won't be blackmailed,  can't be blackmailed.

NormMackey
NormMackey

Oh, I wouldn't believe me either sabin, but decades before wolves were restored I was studying enough to fight against the idea of reserving huge newly minted wilderness areas for wolf and eagle habitat in Michigan and trying to lock people away, an idea which stank for what to me was the obvious result of that, where proposed, was essentially a climax forest too tall to browse and habitat for porcupines, red squirrels and pine martens. Though they were against the roadless expansion too I had to prod a couple sportsman's spokespeople and even DNR personnel to blame bad poachers (as opposed to hunting) instead of "wolf habitat loss" when public complained about endangered wolves re sport hunting.   I don't have room for personal feelings to get in the way of responsible management strategies and I don't think the ecology has room for too much of it whether a heartfelt desire to kill a wolf for sport is at hand or the deer herd has been decimated by a bad winter and not doing something would mean half the number of wolves as well in the next season. Changing game management from a design that produces steady strong reproduction, surpluses of population and biomass replacement, for sport hunting in other words, leads so quickly to obvious disaster to be untenable, sport hunting may not need wolves, but very much the opposite.   As someone once wrote: "perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not yet sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favor; a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of custom. But tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason." For now, it might be might be recognized that humans are emotional creatures, without it we would be horrid. So maybe it should be smart both to remember, fair or not, people care more for the social stars of the TV show "Meerkat Manor" than any rodents they hunt, and the fact that they are staying within the laws and regulations doesn't make the cobras that keep biting the current star of the band in the face any more popular with the mongoose fans; the trophy hunters who have chosen to play the role of the cobras really don't have that much room for complaint over how the individual animal's 832F's fans are saddened and emotional over the loss of what had become a source of empathic pleasure and inspiration to them.  That's the way the ball bounces, shouldn't have thrown it so hard.It seems to me that making an exception to society's rules and submitting to pay tribute to wolf poachers by giving them what they want is a bad and fairly new precedent, what with the Whiskey Rebellion and the Barbary Wars and so on, but past that, submitting to blackmailed by threats of illegal activity? Someone who won't be blackmailed,  can't be blackmailed.

sabin adams
sabin adams

There are two sides of this issue being debated here, the effectiveness of a wolf management strategy and the ethics of wolf hunting. NormMackey has stated hypotheses that oppose the management strategies currently in use. I do not have enough knowledge of the literature to debate whether the things stated are true and would be more beneficial. Claiming that as an argument to stop the wolf hunt would be a fair and justified reason. However, once again, many of the arguments on the basis of why the wolf hunt should be stopped are based on personal morals and sympathy. People are stating that they are grieving as if they lost a loved one. Is it because they truely had a strong relationship with 832f or because they are opposed to the fact that she was harvested by a hunter? I wonder, if 832f had been killed by a rival pack, or hit by a car would feeling have been as strong? Would anyone have even written the article? If she was hit by a drunk driver would people be fighting against drunk driving and ask that the driver be charged with murder?  To me it is the same result as if she were shot, and it would be the same results for the other members of her pack. My whole point is that many (not all) people are arguing on the basis of their own opinions, not facts. Furthermore the ridicule and steroetypes being placed on hunters because of peoples opinions are way over the top. Do these same people have strong relationships with other animals that are not big beautiful megafana? Do these people have strong relationships with geese? They show strong social dynamics, are highly intelligent, are monogamous breeders and are harvested by hunters in the hundereds of thousands each year. Are people going to argue that the harvesting of geese is unethical and therefore should be stopped, because if annual harvest did stop the already over populated species would explode and suffer even greater losses. Wolves are different than geese, they are not highly over populated and they likely show greater intelligents, but I am not argueing that wolves need to be managed, as I said before, that is another arguement. I am stating that peoples personal feelings should not get in the way of resposible management strategies, whether they are or not is up for debate. Thank You, a sniveling idiot.

sabin adams
sabin adams

There are two sides of this issue being debated here, the effectiveness of a wolf management strategy and the ethics of wolf hunting. NormMackey has stated hypotheses that oppose the management strategies currently in use. I do not have enough knowledge of the literature to debate whether the things stated are true and would be more beneficial. Claiming that as an argument to stop the wolf hunt would be a fair and justified reason. However, once again, many of the arguments on the basis of why the wolf hunt should be stopped are based on personal morals and sympathy. People are stating that they are grieving as if they lost a loved one. Is it because they truely had a strong relationship with 832f or because they are opposed to the fact that she was harvested by a hunter? I wonder, if 832f had been killed by a rival pack, or hit by a car would feeling have been as strong? Would anyone have even written the article? If she was hit by a drunk driver would people be fighting against drunk driving and ask that the driver be charged with murder?  To me it is the same result as if she were shot, and it would be the same results for the other members of her pack. My whole point is that many (not all) people are arguing on the basis of their own opinions, not facts. Furthermore the ridicule and steroetypes being placed on hunters because of peoples opinions are way over the top. Do these same people have strong relationships with other animals that are not big beautiful megafana? Do these people have strong relationships with geese? They show strong social dynamics, are highly intelligent, are monogamous breeders and are harvested by hunters in the hundereds of thousands each year. Are people going to argue that the harvesting of geese is unethical and therefore should be stopped, because if annual harvest did stop the already over populated species would explode and suffer even greater losses. Wolves are different than geese, they are not highly over populated and they likely show greater intelligents, but I am not argueing that wolves need to be managed, as I said before, that is another arguement. I am stating that peoples personal feelings should not get in the way of resposible management strategies, whether they are or not is up for debate. Thank You, a sniveling idiot.

Catherine Ives
Catherine Ives

I hope the hunter burns in hell. (Sorry Dalai Lama. sometimes I just can't contain myself).

Catherine Ives
Catherine Ives

I hope the hunter burns in hell. (Sorry Dalai Lama. sometimes I just can't contain myself).

Sharyl Kowski Hobbs
Sharyl Kowski Hobbs

I was so upset when I heard about her. I don't know if we'll ever be able to stop the hunting, but maybe we could do something about the borders so they won't be able to leave.

Sharyl Kowski Hobbs
Sharyl Kowski Hobbs

I was so upset when I heard about her. I don't know if we'll ever be able to stop the hunting, but maybe we could do something about the borders so they won't be able to leave.

NormMackey
NormMackey

Sabin Adams, first problem is that randomly reducing the sizes of all packs is a result of wolf hunting by sportsmen, and that destroys the wolves' own ability as an apex predator to control their own numbers by growing their packs with nonbreeding members and the coresponding territory they exclude other wolves from. A moment's thought and you can realize how reducing a large wolf pack by just two can free territory they no longer use for a pair to found a new pack, doubling the reproduction rate per adult wolf over what is now the territory of two packs, as well as increasing the original pack's reproduction rate from 1 litter per N wolves to 1 litter per N-2 adult wolves. Enough disruption and you could end up with mostly pairs having litters. Game animals are evolved to take normal predation during the time wolf pups and their fawns or whatever are growing up. Either that or they are really really not evolved to have the number of wolf pups born artificially maximized. A sport hunting season is an extremely unpredictable way to manage wolves. Second, a wolf is part of a family of interdependent creatures, its interactions and sharing of experiences and knowledge and kinship, the support it provides and which is to provided to it by its pack-mates for food and common defense, and the play and ritual that hold their society together. Or you don't really have wolves, you have desperate, hungry, likely problem-causing canines you made. Can an ethical hunter start the continuing loss and toil they are inflicting on the whole group left alive? How? Managing wolves could be done two ways. if you wanted to remove X wolves you could remove the X wolves in the smallest packs so perhaps 30 packs averaging 10 were left, or remove the X wolves in the biggest packs to have 60 packs of 5 reproducing twice as fast as the 30 packs of ten. That's one way. The other way is the one being used, which is to reduce all pack numbers and still likely have 90 - or more - packs and hungry litters. Or perhaps by leaving them alone to grow their packs and thus control their own numbers.

NormMackey
NormMackey

Sabin Adams, first problem is that randomly reducing the sizes of all packs is a result of wolf hunting by sportsmen, and that destroys the wolves' own ability as an apex predator to control their own numbers by growing their packs with nonbreeding members and the coresponding territory they exclude other wolves from. A moment's thought and you can realize how reducing a large wolf pack by just two can free territory they no longer use for a pair to found a new pack, doubling the reproduction rate per adult wolf over what is now the territory of two packs, as well as increasing the original pack's reproduction rate from 1 litter per N wolves to 1 litter per N-2 adult wolves. Enough disruption and you could end up with mostly pairs having litters. Game animals are evolved to take normal predation during the time wolf pups and their fawns or whatever are growing up. Either that or they are really really not evolved to have the number of wolf pups born artificially maximized. A sport hunting season is an extremely unpredictable way to manage wolves. Second, a wolf is part of a family of interdependent creatures, its interactions and sharing of experiences and knowledge and kinship, the support it provides and which is to provided to it by its pack-mates for food and common defense, and the play and ritual that hold their society together. Or you don't really have wolves, you have desperate, hungry, likely problem-causing canines you made. Can an ethical hunter start the continuing loss and toil they are inflicting on the whole group left alive? How? Managing wolves could be done two ways. if you wanted to remove X wolves you could remove the X wolves in the smallest packs so perhaps 30 packs averaging 10 were left, or remove the X wolves in the biggest packs to have 60 packs of 5 reproducing twice as fast as the 30 packs of ten. That's one way. The other way is the one being used, which is to reduce all pack numbers and still likely have 90 - or more - packs and hungry litters. Or perhaps by leaving them alone to grow their packs and thus control their own numbers.

sabin adams
sabin adams

Besides the disrespectful actions of a few hunters, what reasoning do you have for opposing this issue? I do not see any ecological harm that can come from a managed hunting season. Comments calling hunters "perverse" and saying "feed the bloodlust" may be true for some individuals but even so the morals of the hunter have nothing to do with the effectiveness of a management strategy. Furthermore it supports my oppinion that hunting opposition is based on simpathy for the animals and sorrow for their death. I believe a respect for harvested animals is essential to ethical hunting, but this type of personal "i feel bad for the wolves" notion is illogical. Animals die, including wolves and death is hardly ever peaceful. This article portrays wolves as heroes of the landscape that have brought back beavers and song bird, which is true, but then it turn as if to claim that hunting will prevent this when it is likely the opposite.   

sabin adams
sabin adams

Besides the disrespectful actions of a few hunters, what reasoning do you have for opposing this issue? I do not see any ecological harm that can come from a managed hunting season. Comments calling hunters "perverse" and saying "feed the bloodlust" may be true for some individuals but even so the morals of the hunter have nothing to do with the effectiveness of a management strategy. Furthermore it supports my oppinion that hunting opposition is based on simpathy for the animals and sorrow for their death. I believe a respect for harvested animals is essential to ethical hunting, but this type of personal "i feel bad for the wolves" notion is illogical. Animals die, including wolves and death is hardly ever peaceful. This article portrays wolves as heroes of the landscape that have brought back beavers and song bird, which is true, but then it turn as if to claim that hunting will prevent this when it is likely the opposite.

ingridtaylar
ingridtaylar

Thank you for posting about this. The entire endeavor, from the delisting budget rider to this barbaric outcome, is nothing short of ideological persecution. I've browsed a number of wolf hunting websites and Facebook pages, and the rhetoric frequently harkens back to a perverse 19th-century exploitation model. One brief exchange I cited at my blog went like this: Commenter #1: "Hang 'them high." Commenter #2: "A good wolf is a dead wolf." Commenter #3: "That's funny they said the same thing about Native Americans." Commenter #4: "Maybe they were right."

 

 

ingridtaylar
ingridtaylar

Thank you for posting about this. The entire endeavor, from the delisting budget rider to this barbaric outcome, is nothing short of ideological persecution. I've browsed a number of wolf hunting websites and Facebook pages, and the rhetoric frequently harkens back to a perverse 19th-century exploitation model. One brief exchange I cited at my blog went like this: Commenter #1: "Hang 'them high." Commenter #2: "A good wolf is a dead wolf." Commenter #3: "That's funny they said the same thing about Native Americans." Commenter #4: "Maybe they were right."

NormMackey
NormMackey

And right now the trophy hunters, populist Michigan state politicians, and those they have been able to frighten or trade influence with are trying to ram home in the lame duck session a completely unnecessary , hunting season in the last major state with a significant population of wolves, Michigan, where the packs are not being tattered by random hunting.Inexplicable except to feed the bloodlust of those who want to kill wolves.

 

A couple days after the DNR announced that in the Upper Peninsula where the wolves are the deer harvest was up 10% this year. Already pushed through the State senate and the House committee, all they have to do is vote in the House and it is on the governor's desk for his signature.

 

The last wolves

 

NormMackey
NormMackey

And right now the trophy hunters, populist Michigan state politicians, and those they have been able to frighten or trade influence with are trying to ram home in the lame duck session a completely unnecessary , hunting season in the last major state with a significant population of wolves, Michigan, where the packs are not being tattered by random hunting.Inexplicable except to feed the bloodlust of those who want to kill wolves.   A couple days after the DNR announced that in the Upper Peninsula where the wolves are the deer harvest was up 10% this year. Already pushed through the State senate and the House committee, all they have to do is vote in the House and it is on the governor's desk for his signature.   The last wolves

ingridtaylar
ingridtaylar

 @sabin adams sabin, as others have stated here, the wolf issue is multi-faceted and while you claim that morality is an invalid component of wildlife decisions, I would argue that not only is it valid, it is currently employed, not just in policy but also in practice by hunters. If you yourself hunt, you know how many hunters will deride the idea of shooting young animals such as spotted or unweaned fawns, whereas others have no moral quandaries about this whatsoever. Wildlife agencies frequently employ morality when deciding which hunting practices or tools are deemed legal and suitable. "Humane" is a moral construct as is, in an indirect way, the coveted ideal of "fair chase" in hunting. The examples go on. So, when you suggest that those who oppose the wolf hunt be hindered from employing their own moral reasoning to the endeavor, you are basically saying that it's only their variation of moral deliberation that isn't worth consideration.

 

As to your questions of "do these same people have strong relationship with other animals that are not big beautiful megafauna? Do these people have strong relationships with geese? They show strong social dynamics, are highly intelligent, are monogamous breeders that are harvested by the hundreds of thousands each year."

 

Thank you, you've made a point I consistently make which is that yes, these relationships do exist, among wild animals themselves, and between wild animals and those of us who've had the privilege to work with them. And they are consistently ignored or undervalued by hunters who don't see the ancillary effects of "harvesting" (nice, always love that euphemism) a goose whose mate sticks close by.  Yes, I know several hunters who personally come upon ducks or geese who won't leave an injured or dead mate.

 

I've been a volunteer rehabilitator in a wildlife hospital, so to reply to those questions, I (along with many others) feel as strongly when I find an unretrieved "cripple" in the waterfowl field (as hunters call them), as I do over the issue of this politically-motivated and often barbaric hunting/trapping scenario that surrounds the wolves. This argument doesn't further your point, rather it undermines the idea of "responsible management" that excludes these considerations in the model. And that's also precisely what some people argue for now, that our conservation and preservation paradigms grow to include current science on these various facets of nonhuman behavior. 

sabin adams
sabin adams

and if I could just say one more thing as more of an "im a jerk, in your face!" comment. I listened to the NPR report and it concludes with the researcher who collared 832f and studied her said, "To get support for wolves, you can't have people angry about them all the time, and so hunting is going to be part of the future of wolves in the West. We've got to have it if we're going to have wolves,"

ingridtaylar
ingridtaylar

@sabin adams sabin, as others have stated here, the wolf issue is multi-faceted and while you claim that morality is an invalid component of wildlife decisions, I would argue that not only is it valid, it is currently employed, not just in policy but also in practice by hunters. If you yourself hunt, you know how many hunters will deride the idea of shooting young animals such as spotted or unweaned fawns, whereas others have no moral quandaries about this whatsoever. Wildlife agencies frequently employ morality when deciding which hunting practices or tools are deemed legal and suitable. "Humane" is a moral construct as is, in an indirect way, the coveted ideal of "fair chase" in hunting. The examples go on. So, when you suggest that those who oppose the wolf hunt be hindered from employing their own moral reasoning to the endeavor, you are basically saying that it's only their variation of moral deliberation that isn't worth consideration.   As to your questions of "do these same people have strong relationship with other animals that are not big beautiful megafauna? Do these people have strong relationships with geese? They show strong social dynamics, are highly intelligent, are monogamous breeders that are harvested by the hundreds of thousands each year."   Thank you, you've made a point I consistently make which is that yes, these relationships do exist, among wild animals themselves, and between wild animals and those of us who've had the privilege to work with them. And they are consistently ignored or undervalued by hunters who don't see the ancillary effects of "harvesting" (nice, always love that euphemism) a goose whose mate sticks close by.  Yes, I know several hunters who personally come upon ducks or geese who won't leave an injured or dead mate.   I've been a volunteer rehabilitator in a wildlife hospital, so to reply to those questions, I (along with many others) feel as strongly when I find an unretrieved "cripple" in the waterfowl field (as hunters call them), as I do over the issue of this politically-motivated and often barbaric hunting/trapping scenario that surrounds the wolves. This argument doesn't further your point, rather it undermines the idea of "responsible management" that excludes these considerations in the model. And that's also precisely what some people argue for now, that our conservation and preservation paradigms grow to include current science on these various facets of nonhuman behavior.

sabin adams
sabin adams

and if I could just say one more thing as more of an "im a jerk, in your face!" comment. I listened to the NPR report and it concludes with the researcher who collared 832f and studied her said, "To get support for wolves, you can't have people angry about them all the time, and so hunting is going to be part of the future of wolves in the West. We've got to have it if we're going to have wolves,"

LizBesmehn
LizBesmehn

 @sabin adams 

Let's get personal here and forget about effective management. You apparently like to kill things, watch them die. Good for you. Diversity makes the world go round, I suppose. But you know what; we all die and grief is a normal response to losing someone you love. That wolf mattered to me. She made my heartbeat a little faster. She reminded me that there is order and playfulness and mystery and wildness in life and I consider Micheal Mountain's post a sort of eulogy for the passing of a friend. Would you walk into a human funeral and go off about population studies. Show a little respect here. Most of us love animals. Some of us are saddened  by this. Some of us are angry. And you my friend, sound like a sniveling idiot. Go away. 

 

LoriMarino
LoriMarino

 @sabin adams

 Sabin, I am the Science Editor for Earth in Transition.  I'd like to respond to your comment as it contains many misconceptions and biases. First, you do not seem to be aware of the scientific evidence that wolves are highly intelligent, social beings who can suffer. Second, you seem to think that any sentiments regarding the suffering of the wolves are illogical.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling that these animals have a right to life just as you and I do.  It is not a condemnation to, as you say, "feel bad for the wolves". Why is that so wrong? And third, your attitude about conservation seems to be quite old-fashioned. You appear to think that conservation should include "management by culling".  But cutting edge thinking in conservation circles is taking into account the welfare of individual animals.  The wolf matriarch that was killed was a mother, a daughter, a friend, and a member of her culture.  Individual animals are not interchangeable pieces on a checker's board.  Advocating for the rights of other animals is not only based on our knowledge of who they are but it is a progressive view and, frankly, something to be proud of. Thanks.

LizBesmehn
LizBesmehn

@sabin adams  Let's get personal here and forget about effective management. You apparently like to kill things, watch them die. Good for you. Diversity makes the world go round, I suppose. But you know what; we all die and grief is a normal response to losing someone you love. That wolf mattered to me. She made my heartbeat a little faster. She reminded me that there is order and playfulness and mystery and wildness in life and I consider Micheal Mountain's post a sort of eulogy for the passing of a friend. Would you walk into a human funeral and go off about population studies. Show a little respect here. Most of us love animals. Some of us are saddened  by this. Some of us are angry. ..... (This sentence removed by comments editor.)

LoriMarino
LoriMarino

@sabin adams  Sabin, I am the Science Editor for Earth in Transition.  I'd like to respond to your comment as it contains many misconceptions and biases. First, you do not seem to be aware of the scientific evidence that wolves are highly intelligent, social beings who can suffer. Second, you seem to think that any sentiments regarding the suffering of the wolves are illogical.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling that these animals have a right to life just as you and I do.  It is not a condemnation to, as you say, "feel bad for the wolves". Why is that so wrong? And third, your attitude about conservation seems to be quite old-fashioned. You appear to think that conservation should include "management by culling".  But cutting edge thinking in conservation circles is taking into account the welfare of individual animals.  The wolf matriarch that was killed was a mother, a daughter, a friend, and a member of her culture.  Individual animals are not interchangeable pieces on a checker's board.  Advocating for the rights of other animals is not only based on our knowledge of who they are but it is a progressive view and, frankly, something to be proud of. Thanks.

michaelmountain
michaelmountain

 @LoriMarino  @sabin adams

 A few minutes ago on NPR Morning Edition, I heard that 832F was, in fact, not only the alpha female but the overall alpha wolf of the pack. By following her and a few other wolves, scientists have recently learned that it is not the alpha male who rules the pack, but the alpha female. So this "hunter" didn't just kill a wolf; he destroyed a family. Here's how Douglas Smith, one of the biologists in the park describes capturing 832F to put a collar on her:

 

"I tried to catch her for several years prior to doing it and she was so smart we couldn't. We do it with a helicopter, we'd dart them, we'd fly in on them. And she'd use the landscape to her advantage. I watched her. And every other wolf is running, she watching, figuring out the next move to get away from us."

 

The full NPR piece is at:

http://www.npr.org/2012/12/12/167024477/scientists-mourn-popular-wolf-shot-by-a-hunter

michaelmountain
michaelmountain

@LoriMarino  @sabin adams  A few minutes ago on NPR Morning Edition, I heard that 832F was, in fact, not only the alpha female but the overall alpha wolf of the pack. By following her and a few other wolves, scientists have recently learned that it is not the alpha male who rules the pack, but the alpha female. So this "hunter" didn't just kill a wolf; he destroyed a family. Here's how Douglas Smith, one of the biologists in the park describes capturing 832F to put a collar on her:   "I tried to catch her for several years prior to doing it and she was so smart we couldn't. We do it with a helicopter, we'd dart them, we'd fly in on them. And she'd use the landscape to her advantage. I watched her. And every other wolf is running, she watching, figuring out the next move to get away from us."   The full NPR piece is at: http://www.npr.org/2012/12/12/167024477/scientists-mourn-popular-wolf-shot-by-a-hunter