Thursday, August 03, 2006

Montana wolves killed after harassing livestock

By The Associated Press

BOZEMAN - A landowner killed two wolves blamed for killing at least one cow and harassing other livestock in the Madison Valley, state and federal wildlife officials said Wednesday. The state Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks authorized the killings of two adult members of the Wedge Pack.

"We know through our monitoring efforts that the Wedge Pack has been living on and around this ranch for about two years, but this is the first confirmed depredation this year," said Carolyn Sime, the state wildlife agency's wolf program coordinator in Helena. "The landowner monitors livestock very closely and reported harassing wolves found in close proximity to cattle on multiple occasions before the actual depredations occurred," she said.

The wolves were shot by the landowner on July 28 and July 29, the state said.

Federal regulations in the experimental area of southwestern Montana allow the state wildlife agency to issue "shoot-on-sight" permits valid for 45 days after it's confirmed a wolf is responsible for a livestock death.

The agencies did not name the landowner who killed the wolves.

"We are working closely with the landowner to monitor the situation given the ongoing potential for wolf-livestock conflicts," said Pat Flowers, Fish, Wildlife and Parks regional supervisor in Bozeman.

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