Wolves Will Not Solve All Your Problems

Published: 2023-03-27 00:00:00

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Wolves will not solve all of your problems. Some states of the United States have requested wolves to either help increase the native wolf population or decrease an increased elk, deer, or moose population. One example is the state of Colorado, which has had an increasing number of reports of wolf packs killing local dogs and other domesticated animals. The wolves were the culprits of two dog deaths earlier this month, which wildlife experts say is inevitable. Wolves, like coyotes, and domestic animals don't really mix. Wolves in particular are incredibly territorial and won't tolerate other canines in territories that they have marked as their own. This is likely the reason for the recent wolf attacks.

As of January 19, 2023, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife group has paid over $12K in compensation for wolf livestock depredations of five cows, two cattle dogs, and one calf. Who approved this? The people of Colorado, more than likely. Having a goal for introducing a large species of animal like this likely has to go through some sort of legislation and in the case of wolves in Colorado that's exactly what happened.

So what's the problem? Well, while this is a positive for animal activists it's not exactly something that ranchers are excited about nor some locals as the wolves are going to do what wild animals do and eat whatever is available without discerning between "domestic" and "wild." While there are such things as wolf collars (sort of look like a choke collar, but the spikes are on the outside to make whatever is biting at the animal's throat stop), and a few things that can be done to deter a wolf from attacking, no method is going to be 100% effective in preventing wolves from attacking.

After a round of public hearings, the Parks and Wildlife Commission has agreed to pay ranchers for wolf predation-a sum of $15K per animal. How much for pet owners? It does not appear that there is an existing sum for damages for pet owners at this time.

Meanwhile back in 2019, there were wolves imported around Lake Superior (in U.S. states Minnesota and Michigan and as a result of location, Canada) to help control the moose population. An unfortunate consequence has been that since the wolf population is low, there has been a fair amount of inbreeding. Allegedly, one of the original pairs dropped, a daughter and father/half-sibling pair, are still together even now. As you've probably seen with dog breeds (like the pug), consistent inbreeding is often an issue that results in the lack of genetic diversity and the emergence of health problems that would not normally be seen. Hopefully, the American wolves (which are larger than their Canadian counterparts) will intermingle so that there is some genetic diversity.

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