Wolves, which were protected under the the Endangered Species Act (ESA) since 1973, were stripped of that status by legislation in 2009, opening the door—should a state choose- to hunting. Although the wolf hunt was just beginning in Minnesota and Wisconsin, as of November 14th, 196 animals had been killed in the region.
Although the return of gray wolves (Canis lupus) to the western Rockies made headlines worldwide. The landmark protection of the ESA then allowed wolves to make a comeback in the Great Lakes region, including Wisconsin and Michigan, until around 4,000 wolves re-occupied old habitat. But now, these wolves are facing the first test to their natural re-wilding.
Two wolf hunting seasons have been established in Minnesota, where six thousand permits have been issued for wolf-hunting. In just eleven days, 123 wolves had been killed. In Wisconsin, farmers site their right to protect their livestock, which they have complained that wolves have killed.
“I think this wolf hunt is tragic,” Maureen Hackett, founder and president of Howling for Wolves, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Hackett says that wolves bring out strong emotions in the Great Lakes: “People absolutely love them or they absolutely hate them.”
Want to learn more? Read the full story here: Controversial wolf hunt moves to the Midwest, 196 wolves killed to date