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The Issues

What are Issues?
Issues are problems assossiated with poaching, trapping, wolf protrayal, ranchers, etc. These are the issues that we believe people need to be aware of and understand. We are also aiming to right this wrong and help people understand wolves and promote their survival in the wild. Learn more about the issues and help wolves today!

Wolf Depiction

The way individuals view wolves is one of our biggest fights. Fairy tales such as 'Little Red Riding Hood', 'The Three Little Pigs', and Aesop's Fables all have a common element--The Big Bad Wolf. In these stories, the wolf is protrayed as a blood-thirsty monster and a dangerous child-hunter.


But, these are just fictional stories, and real wolves are fearful of humans and avoid interacting with them. Unfortunately, people believed these fake stories, which lead to centuries of hatred and violence towards an animal who's only crime was being misunderstood. Still, today, movies and books are created and produced featuring an 'evil' wolf. We are working to revise this wrongful depiction and help people understand wolves and their true nature. Learn more about wolves through our FAQ page!


The Slaughter of Endangered Wolves

Wolves, as of February 2022, are protected throughout the U.S with the exception of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Yet, even in areas of the U.S where wolves are protected, they stil can't seem to escape illegal & boarder killings. Once a wolf crosses the Yellowstone boarder, surrounded by states in which wolves are not protected, they are in the danger zone. In 2023, more than 5 Yellowstone wolves were killed on account of unknowingly crossing the invisible boarder of Yellowstone National Park into unprotected territory. Wolf/animal rights advocates and Coloradans who voted for the Colorado wolf reintroduction are concerned that wolves will venture into Wyoming and be shot and killed there. Wyoming ranchers claimed that they are 'prepared to shoot on-site' as long as a wolf crosses into Wyoming.


There have been reported cases in which a federally protected gray wolf has been illegally killed despite it's designation under the Endangered Species Act. Consequences for killing a federally protected wolf results in 1 year in prison and an additional $100,000 fine. Mexican wolves (Canis lupus baileyi) and red wolves (Canis rufus) are both critically endangered species, and still suffer from vehicle strikes and illegal poaching. Conserving the Wolves' tactic for protecting species is primarily education. Through this, we can ensure an increased number of individuals are aware of the plight that wolves face in the wild. We have several petitions YOU can sign that include the goal of protecting Northern Rocky Mountain wolves, halt the illegal killing of critically endangered wolves such as the red and Mexican wolf, stop the brutal boarder killing of wolves in Yellowstone, and ensure Endangered Species Act protections remain persistent. Help save the wolves by signing the petitions listed below.


Northern Rocky Mountain wolves need your help!

Help red wolves

Help us save British Columbia wolves

Stop killing wolves that cross Yellowstone's boarder


The Brutal Killing Methods

When poachers or ranchers kill wolves, it's not always as simple as just shooting them. Wolves can be trapped, snared, gunned from helicoptors, etc. *SOME GRAPHIC CONTENT*

Shooting- Shooting wolves is killing them with a gun. Poachers can hide amongst the brush where the wolf likely is unable to percieve them. In some circumstances, the wolf doesn't die instantly; wolves can be fully alive and conscious before they killed. 

Trapping- Trapping is a horrendous, despicable, and inhumane method that trappers use when killing wolves. Leg-hold traps are more commonly used, they are placed on the ground; unbeknownst to the animal. The trap is triggered when the wolf steps on it; and it slams shut their foot (heice the name 'leg-hold trap'). The animal is unable to escape and in unbearable pain. Animals caught in traps frantically attempt to free themselves, resulting in deep lacerations, broken bones, and dislocated joints.  It's permitted for wolves to be in traps for as long as 48 hours suffering and terrified only to be gunned down when the trapper returns. Trappers have claimed that the primary reason they trap animals is 'for the fun of it'.  Wolves are NOT the only victim of traps. Non-target species and companion animals such as dogs can and have been caught in traps.  Additionally, trappers are permitted to kill already exhausted and distressed animals via strangulation, stomping on them, drowning, injecting poison, or setting dogs loose on the animal.

Snaring- Snaring is similar to trapping. The unsuspecting wolf or other animal is baited, and then falls victim to the trap. Snares kill the animal via strangulation. Like foot-hold traps, snares do NOT kill the wolf quickly. Instead, the animal suffers extreme panic and desperately attempts to escape, only tightening the snare around their neck. When an animal is strangled for long periods of time, thick blood swells the head, causing it to eventually explode. A horrible, agonizing death that trappers refer to as "Jellyhead".

Areial Shooting- Areial shooting is not popular in the Lower 48, thankfully; but is most prominent in British Columbia and Alaska where B.C and Denali wolves are killed. Areial shooting is killing wolves from helicopters--where they have no escape. Poachers have the unfair advantage of wolves this way via air. 

Denning- Denning is most common with grizzly bears, but it is still permitted for wolves in the Northern Rockies. Denning is a horrible, and immensely disturbing method for killing wolves--obliterating wolf dens. During hunting season, poachers are legally permitted to kill wolf pups and nursing mothers in their dens. Wolf pups can sometimes be as young as 6 hours old. Possibly being one of the most perturbed and appalling killing methods, we campaign for the BANNING of traps, snares, etc. It's time to END the cruelty ONCE AND FOR ALL. 

*Visit: Trap-free Montana to learn more, help wolves and other animals, and raise awareness.

Tom Knudson reveals the power of a foot-hold trap

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