3 min read

Dear Mr. Wolf-Killing Rancher:

<p> Steve Jurvetson / <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/4950032287/" target="_blank">Flickr</a> (<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/" target="_blank">CC BY 2.0</a>) </p>

Instead of declaring war on wolves try to think like the wolf.

He is born to survive in the wild better than any human could, but he does not have any understanding of the things you value - the things that have made you view him as an enemy. Things like "ownership," "livestock loss," "profit," or "trespassing."

When the wolf sees the crowds of your cattle just standing there, his instinct to eat kicks in; when you bring your cattle to graze in the wilderness, on public lands, the wolf sees "delivery service."

Respect that the wolf has the right to feed himself and his pack. He cannot and will not differentiate between your cattle and his natural prey, the prairie buffalo. Respect that he, like all apex predators, were born to keep nature in balance - managing themselves for hundreds of thousands of years without ever depleting prey herds. Respect that the wolf has no perception that you own a cow, a lamb or a tree.

You can choose, Mr. Rancher, to be a better neighbor to the wildlife that live beside you - you can choose compassion and non-lethal methods of watching over your flock. For one, Anatolian guard dogs have successfully protected domesticated livestock for over 6,000 years. Dogs combined with good fencing is all that is needed.

Linda Camac