In April, Alaska sentenced a family of black bears to death for exhibiting defensive behavior - because a group of tourists surrounded them and chased them up a tree. The decision was fortunately reversed due to public outcry.
In May, a sleeping mountain lion was brutally killed in a minute-long shower of close-range gunshots in Nebraska simply for taking a nap next to a building.
And while rabies concerns are certainly valid, Wilhelm said, Rebel's death was an unnecessary one.
"If the parents were concerned, they should have put their child through those shots," he noted. "I don't, in my opinion, think that the wolf should have been put down at all."