Wolf Killing Halted After Cattle Deaths Cease

Sep 2, 2016

Lamar Valley Wolf, Yellowstone National Park
Credit Mike Cline, Public Domain

Two of the four wolves suspected of preying on cattle in northwest Wyoming have been killed. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials say that has successfully stopped the livestock depredations in the area, making it unnecessary to kill the other two wolves for now.

The Service’s Wyoming Field Supervisor Tyler Abbott says if it seems like there’s been more lethal control of wolves recently, that’s because there has been.

“The fact that we’re seeing more depredations this year than ever before, last year was a record year, the previous year was a record year because the wolves in Wyoming continue to grow,” Abbott says. “So I guess in that sense it’s to be expected that we are going to see more depredations occurring. And unfortunately, we’re going to see as a result lethal control needed to stop those depredations.”

The four wolves are from the large Pinnacle Pack near Grand Teton National Park, which is believed to have 14 members. A week and a half ago, they killed a full grown cow and injured a large calf.  Abbott says these four wolves have been killing livestock since last April. The agency considered that a chronic problem requiring action.

“Two have been taken at this point. And if we can observe that the depredations have stopped then the control action will stop at that point. That’s consistent with the way we’ve always done it.”

The two wolves were either shot from the ground or trapped. No aerial gunning was used this time, although it has been in the past year.