The wolf that researchers called 832F, left, was shot on Thursday. The alpha female of the Lamar Canyon pack, she wore a tracking collar. The wolf with her, known as 754, was killed last month. [New York Times]

This year’s hunting season in the northern Rockies has been especially controversial because of the high numbers of popular wolves and wolves fitted with research collars that have been killed just outside Yellowstone in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. – “˜Famous’ Wolf Is Killed Outside Yellowstone

THE NEEDLESS slaughter of wolves has now claimed something of scientific value that keeps these animals in the wild watched, safe and studied so we can understand their lives and what’s needed to keep their habitat alive and their presence vibrant.

It’s these sorts of reports that overwhelm conservationist enthusiasts like myself; fellow gun owners who abhor the gluttony, human arrogance and disrespect of nature by certain hunters and ranchers who think of nothing but their own pleasures or economics. Every hunter and rancher bears responsibility for the policy that allows this killing to continue.

American Scientist featured the famous Lamar Wolf pack in its current issue.

Wolves and bison are only two of the controversial issues in Yellowstone, our first and perhaps greatest national park. How can we balance the rights of the individual with those of the majority? There is a real price to pay for preserving our wild heritage. We must listen to the opinions of all the stakeholders to negotiate a just and equable solution to these complex problems. [American Scientist]

There is no excuse for the killing of tagged wolves, which should be respected and protected when they wander. Indiscriminate ranchers or hunters should be punished, with “stakeholder” claims also coming with responsibilities, because without the ability to study animals in the wild we all lose something that can never be reclaimed.

The wolf pictured below is another photo of the gorgeous beast above, yet another casualty of the brazen disrespect of man of nature.

On a visit to Yellowstone National Park, the author had the good fortune to witness not just wolves and grizzly bears, but interactions between them. In Lamar Canyon, she watched eight members of the Lamar Pack led by the alpha female 06, shown here atop the rock in the center of the frame. She also learned that even in a national park, the reintroduction of a species such as the wolf can have profound effects. Despite their relatively small numbers, the wolves have had an impact not just in the park but in a wide area near the park.
[photo: Jimmy Jones, via American Scientist]