According to an online report, the actions of a field research team in Arizona has resulted in the death of a third endangered wolf. The team allegedly was attempting to trap the wolves – using padded foothold traps – so they could be outfitted with radio-telemetry collars.
Tribtown.com reported that a female yearling, caught in such a trap, tried to escape and stranded herself on a “rocky terrain on the edge of a slope.”
By the time the crew was able to reach the young wolf, she was no longer breathing and could not be revived.
We’re strong advocates of wolf reintroduction programs. We’ve seen them work in areas like Yellowstone National Park, and the long-term vitality of our ecosystems depend on the presence of wolves as apex predators. But when scientists insist on using archaic and cruel traps so they can study these beautiful creatures, we call foul.
It took nearly losing the species for the government to realize the importance of Mexican gray wolves. Certainly, they won’t need to lose any more endangered animals to sloppy science before common sense takes over.
Photo used under GNUFDL (attribution link).