Natural Balance Between Predator, Prey Needs Restoration in Alaska

Letters to the Editor / Anchorage Daily News / December 21, 2003

For thousands of years in the land only recently named the state of Alaska, no one was shooting wolves from airplanes, or by using snowmachines or high-powered rifles.

And yet for all that time, wolves, moose and humans successfully co-existed. It is reasonable to ask then what has changed.

It wasn't the moose or the wolves.

If you look at a prey species, you will see reflected in it the characteristics of its predators. This occurs over thousands of years of co-evolution. A healthy moose can defend itself against or flee from a family of wolves. It may not always win, but most often does, in what nature has designed as a fair battle for survival.

But, no animal, not even humans, has evolved so fast as to develop natural characteristics to defend against the high-tech equipment being used to slaughter today's Alaska wolf -- including the use of guns, airplanes, motorized vehicles, radios and cell phones.

The natural balance between predator and prey that once existed in Alaska should be restored, but it won't be done by "game managers" using airplanes and guns. It will either occur naturally or not at all.

- -  Bob Orabona, Operations Director / Friends of Animals / Darien, CT

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