American Attitudes Toward Wolves

American Attitudes Towards Wolves_V Folgerman Redacted

I’ve been looking for research on how the American mindset has come to hate predator animals with such intensity that many support torture by trap, and complete extinction of some species like wolves. There are many species that have been on constant attack from humans, but in America it seems to be the predator species, like wolves, mountain lions, bobcats and coyotes. There are others that aren’t predators, like beavers, that have had their populations decimated in the past. But, since the removal of wolves from the endangered species act in 2011, we’ve opened hunting seasons for wolves in six states. In two years the states of MI, MN, MT, ID, WY, and WI have attacked wolves with a fervor. I’d venture to say that their state fish and wildlife agencies have gone bonkers. It seems to have been a bloodlust and I need to understand how this mindset developed. I need to try and understand how individuals, or certain groups within the American population formed this hatred. If any of us are to change attitudes within these segments of our population we must attempt to understand how that attitude developed.

No one simply wakes up and decides they are going to slaughter as many coyotes as they can, or bait a bear then corner it to be hounded by their dogs. I suspect this is  learned behavior to an element in their environment. They learned to ‘hunt’ from a young age and have become desensitized. Given the pictures and comments on social media, some appear to have developed a joy for torture and a bloodlust to kill.

Additionally, I believe the mythology attached to some species, like wolves is so ingrained into the mindset of this population segment that they are incapable of separating mythology from fact.

Like most things there will probably be multiple reasons that segments of the American population love to kill predator species. Globally, all of our predator species populations are declining. They’ve been hunted and terrorized to dangerously low numbers. As a society, if we cannot find solutions to the constant attacks, and they are often brutally tortured before they are killed, of these species then we will pay not only a social cost, but also an ecological cost.

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Wolves Trapped and Killed by Idaho’s Hired Hunter

http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2014/01/08/seven-wolves-killed-in-idahos-frank-church-wilderness-by-government-hired-trapper/#

A suit was filed yesterday, January 7, 2014 to stop this extermination. A second motion was filed today for an expedited briefing schedule since the defendant’s, council has said they would not be able to file a response until, Tuesday, January, 14th.

If Gus Thoreson, the hired hunter/trapper for Idaho Fish and Wildlife has already killed seven wolves the two packs will probably be exterminated by January, 14th. Seven lives lost. Six with traps. Horrific way to die. Traps should have been illegal decades ago. Who knows how many more he has killed by now. Maybe all of them.

I have so little to offer other than to vent. It has been one horrific killing season for wolves, and we’re only in the second year since they lost the protection of ESA. At this rate how long before their numbers are so low that they bottleneck? There have been 1,140 wolves killed this year in the six states where they are hunted, and that isn’t counting the wolves that live in the hard to access Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness area in Idaho.
It seems the only thing that will save wolves from the bloodthirsty, Jeremiah Johnson wannabes is for them to be put back on the ESA. And time if of essence.

If anyone reads this blog and reblogs this horrific news we must join forces and get put a stop to this insanity.

I will be writing a personal letter to Obama. His administration has been an abomination for wildlife and conservation. Total Failure.  It is his administration under the leadership of Sally Jewell that got wolves delisted in the first place. It is those in the U.S. Forest Service that worked in cahoots with Virgil Moore, Director of Idaho Fish and Game that schemed this slaughter. The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness area is federal land under the authority of the U.S. Forest Service. Those are our lands. All American’s lands, not just those in Idaho; not just elk hunter’s land.

WOW. The Man Who Hugs Wild Lions Brought a Go-Pro This Time (Video)

Wow! This is amazing, wonderful, hopeful and yet sad. Listen to him when talks about habitat loss. What have we done?

Higher Learning

Kevin Richardson is known as the lion whisperer, and I think that term is perfectly accurate. He has literally made himself part of a pride of lions, as well as a group of hyenas.

Watch Kevin hug, cuddle and play with these wild predators. He also attaches Go-Pros on the backs of some of the lions and hyenas, so you can see things from their perspective as well.

If this isn’t the most amazing intimate footage of lions and hyenas you’ve ever seen, I’d be very surprised.

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Wildlife Services: Leaked Audit Shows Fiscal Confusion

Here we go. Hopefully, this will lead to the demise of the USDA’s Wildlife Services, aka, The Killing Agency

Exposing the Big Game

http://www.endangered.org/wildlife-services-leaked-audit-shows-fiscal-confusion/

by Mitch Merry

howlers

Via NRDC’s Melissa Waage:

An unreleased, internal audit at USDA’s secretive Wildlife Services division uncovered big accounting problems, including $12 million missing from its coffers, the LA Times revealed yesterday. This new information comes as USDA’s Inspector General prepares to conduct a congressionally-requested audit of the agency’s practices.

The Times reports that

The [internal Wildlife Services] audit found the agency’s accounting practices were “unreconcilable,” lacked transparency and violated state and federal laws. Further, the audit revealed that $12 million in a special account could not be found.*

On the one hand, this internal review is a responsible first step. For years, non-profit watchdogs and members of Congress have been trying to untangle Wildlife Services’ opaque funding stream. We know that a combination of federal tax dollars and payments directly from special interests like Big Agriculture enables USDA’s Wildlife Services division to kill hundreds of thousands of…

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Conservationists Sue to Halt Wolf Kill

http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2014/01/07/conservationists-ask-court-to-halt-wolf-extermination-in-one-of-nations-premiere-wilderness-areas/#comments

This is good news. Let’s hope it works and that it works soon enough to save the two wolf packs in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness area of Idaho.

I believe the hired hunter, Gus Thoreson is already in the FC Wilderness area. Let’s hope there is a stay before too many lives (wolf) are lost.

These wilderness regions belong to all Americans, not just the elk hunters. Annihilating wolves is not the solution to elk population decline.

North Idaho elk hunters form co-op to pay wolf trappers for kills

North Idaho elk hunters form co-op to pay wolf trappers for kills.

Enough. The elk herds have declined. That is a fact. To place most of the blame on wolves is not fact. There are multiple reasons for elk herds declining, and that decline isn’t isolated in Montana and Idaho.

One, trapping of wildlife should be illegal. Period. The use of traps is heinous, torture, and flatout unmoral and unethical.

Two, apex predators benefit ecosystems. Wolves will keep elk populations in check. Wolves will not hunt elk into extinction. Only humans hunt a species into extinction.

Three, this hysteria and hatred of apex predators, and especially wolves is an ideology brought to this continent from the first European immigrants. They had already hunted wolves to extinction in England when they first arrived to North America. Their hysteria is steeped in religion due to Christianity, and the negative depiction of wolves in the bible. The early Europeans lost livestock to predator depredation, which had a potential of being a life and death situation in the 17th and 18th centuries. These early Europeans had a fear of the wildlands on this continent. They wanted to tame and control nature; bend nature and build cities; “manage” their environment in this new and scary continent on which they immigrated. This hysteria and fear was carried west with manifest destiny, and it has never died.

This slaughter of apex species must stop. Trapping and torturing wolves will not guarantee an increase in elk populations. In 2014, this is about elk, which means this is about money. The state fish and wildlife agencies ‘manage’ these so called game species for hunters. If they really wanted to increase he elk population they would start paying attention to the scientific research that shows there is more to the declining elk populations than wolf depredation. But then, that just wouldn’t feed their fear and loathing, now would it?

Good Golly Miss Molly Survied


It’s close to the anniversary since I found Molly, my little dog. Those of you who knew me five years ago know about her condition. I honestly believe she was a day or two away from death. Covered in mange; (found out it was the genetic mange) starving; sick; eyes crusted and leaking mucus, and she was skin and fur on bones. She was too weak to stand for more than a few minutes. She was terrified of me but too weak to run. I carried her to my car and she plopped down on the back floorboard—-too weak to even hold up her head.
I always had figured that maybe she hid down by the creek banks and the flood had driven her out.
I refused to name her for the first week because I didn’t expect her to live. My brother told me, “Sis, I wouldn’t get my hopes up with that dog. She’s in pretty bad shape.” After a week I named her Molly because I said, “Good golly, it looks like Miss Molly is going to survive.” The first two months I had her she would slink away and hide everytime I picked up a broom.
In a few days it will be five years she’s been with me. In that time, we’ve lost Lola, my beloved Great Dane, and gained a bunch of cats. And we’ve had family move in and move back out; and we now have my mom here.
The morning I found her I had a strong feeling that I was suppose to be at that place at that time for a reason. There was a reason the bus didn’t show up in Tulsa which caused me to drive to Okmulgee.
Five years and this is what that little mange covered, starving dog had to go through the night before I found her. http://www.twisterchasers.com/storm_chasing_august_19,_2007_okmulgee,_ok_flood.htm
Here’s to many more years with Molly!

Respect for a Cat

Can one respect a cat? I know people love their pets, and some people adore their pets, but do we ever respect them for specific traits like we do some humans? I’ve taken on many cats over the last couple of years. Most are cats that have been abandoned, or ones that never had a human companion to love them. My cat Venture, however, is one I’ve had since her birth. I also have two of her siblings. They were born one week to the day, March 29, 2003, after my dad passed away from cancer.

My girl, Venture, is sick. We don’t know what’s causing her illness, and I’ve spent all the money I have to spend to diagnose and treat her. She was admitted to the veterinary clinic on Thursday. Today, I brought her home. I wanted her to be in familiar surroundings; to be able to smell the familiar scents; sleep in familiar spots; feel the touch of my fingers scratch her chin; see the people and pets that she knows. This feels like a hospice case.

Something different has happened since I’ve brought her home. It goes beyond the human-cat bond. It’s a variation on the love a human has for their pet. Venture is taking me to a place I’ve not been before when facing a dying cat or dog. That place is respect. Respect for the character and demeanor of the individual. This cat is the most patient cat I’ve ever been around. The vet techs were impressed with her calm demeanor; her patience; and her cool character.  As I’ve interacted with her today she has been both mildly distressed (when I had to clean her after bowel movement), and patient with me when I administered her medications. She has been loving when I’ve lied next to her to pet her and do the thing she loves the most; scratch her beneath her chin. Venture has always been a calm and laid back cat, but with her illness I’ve seen a calm cat be an extraordinary cat. I’ve entered a place where my pragmatism tells me I’m caring for a dying companion, yet I hope for her to rebound.  I grasp that death comes to all of us and that we cannot stop it or escape it. Acceptance. I’ve not shed many tears yet.  So many stressors have happened in the last couple of weeks that maybe I’ve simply blocked some of my typical emotional responses. I’m at a point where I’ve accepted that her time on earth may be near an end. Maybe a few days; maybe a few weeks.

However this event turns, Venture has taken me to a place of respect because of her traits. Patience with humans; tolerance with other cats that I’ve brought into our home; the specific look in her eyes when she sees me petting one of the other cats and turns to walk away; (before she was sick) a resignation of being stuck with needles to draw blood, administer fluids, and having pills shoved down her throat; and for her simple ability to purr when I scratch her chin. Through it all she has simply been Venture. The calmest cat I’ve had the pleasure of ever having in my life.

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