My Condolences to the Wolf -
by Maria Ferguson
What is it about, you, the Wolf that inspires so much emotion in us? Whatever it is, it has been going on for hundreds of years. We love you. We hate you. We want to see you roaming free and hear you howl into the night. We want to shoot you on sight. We introduce, you, the greatest predator next to Man, as "experimental populations"* and categorize you, in places like Montana, as the "nonessential" and "naturally occurring". We are managing Wolves, yes managing you. We chase you down with helicopters until you are too weary to run anymore and then we capture or kill you.
I am offering up an apology to the Wolf, publicly, for what Man has put you through. I shed a tear each time I read that you have done what comes most naturally to you and are shot to death for doing so. I see your carcass and those of your pack members lying on the gates of pickup trucks, in pools of blood, a government emblem displayed on it’s doors. Your body is further desecrated in order to have proof of your crime. There is no dignity in dying there and for that I am deeply sorry. I hear people say, "Wolves are killers. They kill to kill."** I am so sorry they we do not understand who you are or what you do. My deepest and heartfelt condolences I extend to you, the Wolf.
Excerpt from *Endangered Species Act of 1973
EXPERIMENTAL POPULATIONS. -
B) Before authorizing the release of any population under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall by regulation identify the population and determine, on the basis of the best available information, whether or not such population is essential to the continued existence of an endangered species or a threatened species.
(C) For the purposes of this Act, each member of an experimental population shall be treated as a threatened species; except that-
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