Monday, November 13, 2006

5 wolves killed after attacks on cattle

By The Associated Press

AVON - Wildlife officials killed five wolves this week on private land south of here, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks said Thursday. The agency authorized U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services to kill the animals after a series of attacks on livestock. Since February, three cattle were confirmed to have been killed by wolves, and one calf was probably killed by wolves, FWP said.

Wildlife Services investigated the most recent depredation on Sunday and killed the wolves the next day.

"The Spotted Dog pack territory is mostly comprised of private lands managed for livestock production, both cattle and sheep," said Carolyn Sime, FWP wolf program coordinator. "Previous lethal control in September left at least nine wolves in this large pack. Removing additional wolves is part of our incremental approach to addressing confirmed livestock kills."

A collared female and up to five other wolves remain in the pack, the agency said.

USDA Wildlife Services is a cooperating federal agency that investigates injured and dead livestock to determine the cause, and carries out the field response at the direction of FWP.

Both agencies work to help reduce depredation risks and address wolf-related conflicts, FWP said.

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