You are here

Wolf Looking For Human Handouts Euthanized By Yellowstone National Park Staff

Share

 

A 110-pound gray wolf that appeared to have become too familiar with human foods was put down by Yellowstone National Park staff recently.

Since July, the male lobo had approached staff and visitors at close range at least seven times and had been unsuccessfully hazed each time from the Fishing Bridge developed areas, park officials said Wednesday.  The wolf was a member of Mollie’s Pack from the Pelican Valley area, and was estimated to be between 2 and 4 years old.

The decision to remove the wolf last Saturday, October 8, came following a history of fearless behavior in the presence of humans, repeated visitation to developed areas within the park, and numerous unsuccessful hazing attempts, a park release said.  Each of these factors was indicative of the wolf’s potential habituation to human food, which posed an increased risk to park visitors and staff.

Efforts to relocate food-conditioned animals have generally proven unsuccessful because they simply return to the areas from which they were removed.

Park visitors are reminded that intentionally feeding or allowing animals to obtain human food is a violation of park regulations, which may ultimately lead to the death of the animal involved.  Park rangers vigorously enforce these regulations that are designed to protect both people and animals.  Visitors are also reminded to be vigilant at all times with proper food storage by keeping food, garbage, coolers and other attractants stored in hard-sided vehicles or food storage boxes.

Park rules require that you to stay at least 100 yards away from wolves at all times. Visitors are also advised to stay on designated trails, hike in groups of three or more people, and to be alert for wildlife and make noise in blind spots.  The best defense against attacks is to stay a safe distance from wildlife and use your binoculars, spotting scope or telephoto lens to get a closer look, and never feed, approach, disturb or entice wolves in any way.  Bear spray may be an effective last resort should a wolf approach too closely.

Sightings of wolves in close proximity of humans and developed areas may be a dangerous situation developing and should be reported to the nearest visitor center or ranger station as soon as possible.

Comments

This is just too  sad!  But what can you do when visitors don't follow National Park procedures about storing and disposing of food when in the Parks.  Sometimes you just can't fix stupid!!


Very well stated. It is ignorant people that cause these animals to be killed.


Disgusting.
That poor wolf did NOT have to pay with his life.
There are many other options and venues available to prevent this senseless and needless death of a beautiful creature.
Relocation to a Wolf sanctuary is one solution.
His weight was small @110 lbs...perhaps he had an injury that was preventing him from hunting or eating...that was forcing him to seek the closeness of humans in search of food. A medical exam should have been performed to see IF these issues were presenting themselves.
Instead...he was killed and his beautiful existence was wiped away.
WE.... are the caretakers of Mother Earth and her wonderful gifts. When we stop remembering that...we have lost sight of WHY we are here and our responsibility to this Planet and her creatures needs to be evaluated.
What took place by the Yellowstone staff was nothing less than... Shameful.


Dawn-you hit the nail on the head! I could not have said it more perfectly myself-it is though you spoke for me, your words are pretty much word for word what I was going to say-So I shall say "Ditto" and Thank you :)


 I don't fully understand why some people put certain animals on pedastals and think for some reason they are better than any of the other inhabitants of this earth. Everything has its place. Some overstep their bounds. Us included. Wolves like all pack animals can be extremely vile creatures. i.e. They've been known to start eating their kills (from the hindquarters first) before their prey is actually dead. They've also been known to kill for sport. Although it is sad that it had to be put down in part because of us, it wasn't without fault. They are not the noble creatures some people fantasize them being.


Dawn, unfortunately there are many, many factors that go into making a decision like this.  Don't be too quick to judge.  It's not at all unusual for animal sanctuaries to be unable or unwilling to accept one more animal.  Their capacities are not unlimited.

Believe me, when rangers must kill an animal it is not something they want to do.


Dawn:
Disgusting.
That poor wolf did NOT have to pay with his life.
There are many other options and venues available to prevent this senseless and needless death of a beautiful creature.
Relocation to a Wolf sanctuary is one solution.
His weight was small @110 lbs...perhaps he had an injury that was preventing him from hunting or eating...that was forcing him to seek the closeness of humans in search of food. A medical exam should have been performed to see IF these issues were presenting themselves.

    My information says that 110 lbs is a pretty healthy weight for a gray wolf (well above average for a North American wolf), and about average for the population in Yellowstone. If anything, I would guess that it got fat off of human handouts.  There's a wide variation, so just hearing about its weight isn't enough to speculate that something was preventing it from normal hunting activities.  I would guess that as with other wildlife, once an animal gets used to human foods that require little effort to procure, they don't particularly want to go back.  They can expend less effort and possibly get more food if they can find people willing to give them food.

Of course the big problem is that they can become a nuisance.  Other wildlife that are used to getting handouts start getting testy when they come across a tourist without food.  I remember hearing about how Yellowstone bears were used to getting handouts, and they actually attacked some people who they approached but didn't have food to give.


You know all the preditory animals are being wiped out by the biggest preditor of all...man. Wolves are disliked because they are 'killing' off the elk etc. really? I mean for thousands of years wolves and elk, deer, bison everything co-existed none were extint until man started hunting them. Now man is angry because Wolf is eating all of Elk or Horse is eating all of the range from mans beef. This young Wolf found an easy supply of food, he should have been put in a sancuary not murdered by man, afterall Wolf is related to mans best friend Dog.


Add comment

CAPTCHA

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide

Recent Forum Comments