Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Wolf Becoming a Mainstay at Wisconsin Farm

Justin Ware- WMTV- Madison

"It was here last night again, and there were several neighbors here and we got snapshots of him and he just hangs around the dogs and the four wheelers." For LaVern Davis, the last week has been typical ... tending to his dairy cows, taking his dogs out for a run on his ATV, letting them play with a wild wolf ...

Wait a minute, letting them play with a wild wolf?

"And so I went over there and sure enough, it looked like a wolf and he followed the dogs back and we were over there with the pickup and he come running up alongside the pickup and the four–wheeler with the dogs," said Davis.

Davis says the wolf started following his dogs and playing with them last week. And as long as that's all it does, he says the wild animal doesn't bother him. But Davis does have expensive dairy cows to worry about. "We have these small calves over here," said Davis, "that are about the size of a deer and it's a lot easier to grab them than it would be to chase a deer."

But even if this wolf decides to start eating Davis' calves, he has very few options for stopping it.

"Very few for both of us," said Greg Matthews, Wisconsin department of natural resources. "It's a protected species, can't be shot by the farmer ... that would be a big fine." Matthews says wildlife experts are about 90 percent sure this animal is a wolf. And if that's the case, killing it could result in a $10,000 fine and jail time. "All we could do is try to scare it away and there's no guarantee that would work," said Matthews, "but we cannot euthanize it, nor trap it and remove it."

Wolves generally won't attack humans, but DNR officials want to remind everyone that they are still wild and potentially dangerous animals. And if you see a wolf, get away from it, as soon as you can.


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