The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confirmed the authorization to remove and kill four wolves from the group known as the Pinnacle Peak Pack after reports of attacks on area cattle took place last week.
Mike Foster, the Wyoming director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for Wildlife Services spoke with the Independent.
“Earlier in the summer there was one cow that was killed,” he said. Two others were killed two weeks ago. In the last three or four days, there have been three or four calves that were injured and one of them had had to be put down.”
According to Foster, the killing of wolves is not rare.
“It’s common, [but] it doesn’t happen every day. With the re-listing of the wolves in September of 2014, the population has been steadily increasing and we no longer manage them at the state level. ”
Currently wolves in Wyoming are managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife service. While the State of Wyoming may be authorized to carry out the “lethal removal”, they do not have a say in the decision to do so.
According to Foster, there were approximately 54 wolves killed in Wyoming last year but those numbers are up. “It has been a busy year for us,” he said. The numbers won’t be final until the end of our fiscal year but we’ve already removed more than that number this year with our fiscal year ending on September 30.”
Data collected from collars in Grand Teton National park have lead authorities to believe the wolves spend time on the National Elk Refuge, the GTNP and the Bridger-Teton National Forest