Poor Limpy, shot dead.

Edit to add: The Fish and Wildlife Contact form is cleverly hidden. Here’s the direct url: http://www.fws.gov/duspit/contactus.htm

The killing in the Greater Yellowstone region has already begun. One of the first victims: Wolf 253M — a celebrity wolf, affectionately known as “Limpy.”

Nicknamed ‘Limpy’ because his back legs were crippled in a fight when he was young, 253M was just shy of 8 years old — a wolf Methuselah — when he died March 28, shot in Wyoming on the first day wolves lost their protected status under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.” – from -“Wolf’s death stirs fears for species’ fate” by Patty Henetz, The Salt Lake City Tribune, April 8, 2008

Limpy was many things to many people — to wolf-watchers, he was the hobbling member of Yellowstone’s famous Druid Peak Pack. To Utahans, he was the first wolf to be seen in the state for more than 70 years.

But wolf 253M’s celebrity didn’t save him in the end. Limpy and two other wolves were shot dead in an elk feeding ground, part of Wyoming’s brutal shoot-on-sight policy that covers virtually the entire state.

Limpy’s death was just the beginning. It’s been 26 days since wolves were stripped of federal protections in the Greater Yellowstone area — and at least 17 wolves have already been killed in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. And there are surely more to come.

Officials in Idaho changed their state law on the day wolves were delisted, making it far easier for anyone to kill wolves near livestock or domestic animals.

In Wyoming, state officials stripped all protection from wolves in 88% of the state. Locals have organized weekend eradication “wolf hunts” to kill any wolf that they find. One group tracked a wolf for 35 miles on snowmobiles before shooting it dead. (And yet, I’m not allowed to hunt people like that. It just ain’t fair.)

I know in times like this, finding extra dollars can be tough, but if you’ve got some spare change, perhaps consider donating to the Defenders of Wildlife Campaign.

You can also contact the The Fish and Wildlife Service at 1-800-344-WILD, and at http://www.fws.gov/ and ask them to reverse the insane decision to allow endangered animals to be hunted to extinction.

America’s wolves were nearly eradicated in the 20th century. Now, after a remarkable recovery in parts of the country, wolves are once more threatened. Don’t let people like Bush and Cheney, who hunt in wildlife preserves and haven’t ever seen nature except from a plane, destroy a species as vital and wonderful as the North American wolf.

Comments are disabled for this post