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Aerial Hunting of Wolves Continues in Alaska

HumaneLines / Issue 328 / December 30, 2004

In early 2004, 147 wolves were killed in just over two months in Alaska's controversial aerial wolf hunting program. Now, nearly a thousand more wolves are scheduled for extermination.

In airborne hunting, wolves are tracked in the snow and chased with airplanes to the point of exhaustion and are then either shot from the air or by a gunman after the aircraft lands. This stressful process can result in wounded wolves too physically compromised to survive in the wild. Even pups born this year may be killed. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the Alaska Board of Game have approved the killing of 900 wolves this winter via airborne hunting. When combined with all hunting and trapping, some 2,500 wolves are likely to be killed, almost one-third of Alaska's wolf population.

The aerial wolf killing program caters to hunters who complain, without scientific support, that wolves eat too many moose calves, and that natural predation leaves too few moose for recreational hunting. Alaska's Governor Frank Murkowski decided to side with trophy hunters and resume the aerial killing of wolves, even though Alaska voters have twice-in 1996 and again in 2000-affirmed a long-standing moratorium on aerial hunting.

What You Can Do

Tell Governor Murkowski that the wolf slaughter is unethical and inhumane. Remind him that voters in Alaska have twice affirmed their desire to ban aerial hunting. If you are from Alaska tell the Governor that Alaskans don't want wolves killed; if you are not an Alaska resident, remind him that this killing spree tarnishes Alaska's image.

Governor Frank Murkowski
P.O. Box 110001
Juneau, AK 99811

Fax: 907-465-3532

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