Wolf that escaped from Idaho wildlife park killed by owner


A wolf that escaped from a drive-thru wildlife tourist attraction in southeastern Idaho has been shot and killed by the owner of the business, Idaho officials said.

Courtney Ferguson, the owner of Yellowstone Bear World near Yellowstone National Park, tracked the wolf through snow and shot it about an hour after it escaped from the facility that also has bears, elk, bison and deer.

“Courtney saw the tracks in the snow, tracked the wolf down and shot it,” Doug Peterson of Idaho Fish and Game told the Standard Journal in a story published Monday. “He took care of it all by himself and relatively quickly and easily.”

Peterson said the wolf was owned by Ferguson so the state’s hunting rules did not apply to the killing of the wolf.

“The wolves we hunt belong to the citizens of Idaho,” Peterson said. “This particular wolf of Courtney’s belonged to him.”

All the animals at the facility that is now closed for the winter were born and raised there, the company said.

Yellowstone National Park has drawn a record of more than 4 million visitors this year, many hoping to spot wolves and grizzly bears in the wild. Ferguson’s wildlife park sits on one of the major routes into the park, with a selling point that visitors can see the animals up close.

“It’s a different setting than the park but they do get to see what those animals look like,” said Jim White, regional supervisor for Idaho Fish and Game.

Yellowstone Bear World operates with a license issued by the Idaho Department of Agriculture and its animals are permitted by Idaho Fish and Game.

White called the escape of the wolf “an unusual, isolated incident.”

Ferguson did not immediately respond Tuesday to telephone and email messages seeking comment.


13 thoughts on “Wolf that escaped from Idaho wildlife park killed by owner

  1. The wolf wanted to be free. May this murder come back in full measure to the killer in the form of a slow and painful death through accident or illness.

  2. Wolves do not belong just “to the citizens of ID” but to no one one or to the citizens of the USA or world. This republican mindset of state ownership of wildlife is both absurd and dangerous to wildlife.

  3. Shut this scumbag down. These people are constantly fearmongering about the dangers of wolves, so they should not be kept in captivity, right? Human behavior makes zero sense, so to talk about science and reason guiding our decisions is a joke. Wild horses are going to be auctioned off and some will go to the slaughterhouse at Christmastime at a sanctuary gone terribly wrong in North Dakota – talk about hypocrisy. A quarter of a million reindeer to be slaughtered because of disease fears. Peace on Earth, goodwill to men, and men only, I guess. 😦

    • I am so with you! I want to scream and cry from despair.

      “Peterson said the wolf was owned by Ferguson so the state’s hunting rules did not apply to the killing of the wolf. “The wolves we hunt belong to the citizens of Idaho,” Peterson said. “This particular wolf of Courtney’s belonged to him.”

      “The wolves we hunt belong to the citizens of Idaho,” Just reading this sentence makes me so incredibly angry. I wish I could find and punish all these so called humans! They are killer parasites! I despise humans like these Parasites!

    • This whole place is awful! How can anyone be allowed to hold that many animals captive and kill them just so he can make money off of bear cub feedings.

  4. People need to stop visiting these places and drive them out of existence. Well, at least the poor wolf did escape from his or her captors. I wonder how this place can get away with using the name “Yellowstone”. Yosemite ran into some trouble for the Awahnee hotel using a name they’ve used since the Park’s inception, because of a new johnny-com-lately concessions group who must have bought the name rights. I’m still calling it the Awahnee, regardless. I hope Yellowstone National Park hasn’t been reduced to leasing out its name!

  5. First, the wolf should not have “belonged to him!” Second, no animals should be imprisoned in roadside zoos, including drive-throughs. Are the animals sacrificing their lives in this caged slum to teach people too lazy to get out of their cars a lesson about wildlife? Yes, there is a lesion to be learned there, but anyone who visits is too dumb to learn.

  6. The problem with environmentalists is that we always adopt a defensive position. We wait until a condition is beyond tolerance and then start talking about it on sites that is frequented only by those who are already involved. Why don’t we become like conservatives and become offensive for a change. Why not a few environmental organizations that focus primarily on legal aspect of environmental issues work together to introduce proposals to ban any type of small zoo ownership? Why don’t we do this, and just talk about these horrible things among ourselves?!

    • Too often, a smart and sad observation, Damovand. Our side is way too polite. And too much talking amongst ourselves. More and more animal and wildlife defenders should model ourselves after Sea Shepherd and PETA.

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