State Turns Down Sanctuary’s Proposal to Save Wolves Facing Extermination

Profanity Peak Pack: Official Says California Facility’s Offer Isn’t Feasible

Posted: Friday, September 9, 2016 7:45 pm

Washington state officials have rejected a proposal by a wildlife preserve to save the Profanity Peak wolf pack targeted for extermination.

“We received the proposal to relocate the remaining Profanity Peak pack members to California, but that approach just isn’t feasible,” said Eric Gardner, assistant director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, in an emailed statement.

Lorin Lindner and Matthew Simmons, co-founders of the Lockwood Animal Rescue Center, a 4,000-acre preserve near the Los Padres mountains in Ventura County, Calif., offered to use helicopters to find and tranquilize the wolves, then move them to the preserve.

The pack, originally estimated at 11 animals — six adults and five pups — was cut in half in August after six of the wolves were killed. State officials authorized the exterminations following a series of attacks on livestock put out to graze on public land in the Colville National Forest.

Since mid-July, WDFW has confirmed that wolves from the Profanity Peak pack have killed or injured six cattle and possibly five others. The most recent incident occurred on Aug. 31, when a calf was killed, a WDFW spokesman said.

Simmons and Lindner said they began putting out feelers about their proposal after hearing of the state’s decision in August. 

Last week, they traveled from California to rural Ferry County to make a pitch directly to state and local officials about providing a nonlethal alternative at no cost the state.

“We knew it was a last-ditch effort,” Simmons said. “Bringing wolves into a sanctuary should be a last option, but we think it’s a viable one if the alternative is killing the animals.”

But according to WDFW officials, Simmons’ proposal is unworkable. “We know from experience that darting and capturing wolves when there’s no snow on the ground to slow them down isn’t practical,” Gardner said.

Reached Thursday, Simmons rejected the state’s assessment of his offer, adding that he would be open to adjusting the means of removing the wolves.

“People in your state seem to be determined to kill these animals even when there’s an offer to remove them that won’t cost the state a dime,” he said.

The fate of the remaining members of the wolf pack remains in limbo. The department is open to new strategies, but will continue to re-evaluate the situation at the end of each week to determine whether efforts to exterminate the pack should continue, said WDFW spokesman Craig Bartlett. What, if any, nonlethal strategies are being considered was not immediately made clear.

State policy authorizes “lethal removal” after confirming that wolves have preyed on livestock at least four times in one calendar year, or six times in two consecutive years. Livestock must have been confirmed to have been killed by wolves in at least one of the events.

The state’s Wolf Advisory Group is scheduled to hold meetings on wolf management policy in North Bend on Wednesday and Thursday.


4 thoughts on “State Turns Down Sanctuary’s Proposal to Save Wolves Facing Extermination

  1. This is clearly an agency (WDFW) that has a wolf jihad mindset and is out of control needing revamping toward conservation. They ignore public opinion and favor rancher opinion

  2. The director of WDFW worked for Idaho Fish & Game for about 30 years, including as deputy director. What this means, of course, is that Unsworth, along with IDFG, has a solid & longstanding history of wolf hatred, persecution, & of disinterest in any perspectives other than hunting & ag-related. He’s only been the director a year or so, and evidently he’s the kind of old-think good old boy that Washington decision makers wanted to “manage” wildlife. Gov Inslee ought to be explaining why someone with 19th century views is running WDFW.

    Of course they’re not going to allow sanctuary. The public might get a taste for compassion, & God help us, where would that lead?

  3. Wolf Haven International in Tenino, Washington, took in a black female wolf they named Ione after the town where she was captured. Apparently her pack was gone, and she was becoming habituated to humans and dogs.

    Wolf Haven agreed to take her before the inevitable happened and she was killed. The sanctuary placed her in a large off-trail enclosure. But they said that euthanasia was a possibility if captivity was too difficult for her.

    Apparently she is doing okay as I was able to get a sponsorship for her. But the early wolf cams showed her doing a lot of pacing. Wolves who have lived in the wild in packs and have not been around people don’t do well in enclosures, which is why some sanctuaries won’t take them.

    I hate the killing, but I wonder what the wolves would do if they had a choice: live wild and free or die.

    Who knows, maybe they will still run wild and free someplace else.

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