Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Wolves have had a bad rap from the beginning

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DEAR EDITOR,

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I am thinking that Ken Rebizant, manager of the big game unit with the wildlife branch, didn't catch the international conference on wolves in Thompson a few weeks ago. It was attended by wolf experts from Canada, U.S., Germany and Scandinavia. Thompson is hoping to establish itself as an International Wolf Centre.

The trapping and killing of this wolf in the article is not only obscene but odious. Why has the so-called trapper, blurred image, declined an interview? Because he is a coward with a trap and a gun. The wolf was apparently eating little dogs voraciously and had to be killed. Later on in the article, however, it states that there were no reports of such occurring. If responsible dog owners, of which I am one, allow Fee Fee to go bounding into the forest with reckless abandon, then I'm sure the wolf won't be the only predator hot on her heels!

For years, this province has turned its back on wolves being run down by people on snowmobiles and in airplanes. I fail to see this as a sport.

While I was still teaching, I taught a unit on wolves. I did a ton of research from other countries besides Canada and obtained a huge amount of written and visual materials. The students and myself actually sponsored a number of wolves who were part of the reintroduction program in Idaho. To follow a wolf pack is not only beautiful but mesmerizing. They are not wanton killers, they are wonderful parents, and only the alpha male and female are allowed to reproduce, in order to keep the pack strong and healthy.

Wolves have had a bad rap from the beginning. Gory fairy tales present frightful images of this majestic animal to young children. There are responsible trappers out there who trap animals humanely, with the proper equipment. They are well aware of the number of animals that exist in an area at any given time.

Not that long ago, the wolf population was rapidly dwindling because of ignorance in many areas in North America and Europe. A concentrated effort has prevailed to bring the wolf numbers back. Now we are getting blasé and careless again.

BARBARA McDOLE

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 30, 2012 A13

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