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Washington Wolf Pack Gets Death Sentence After Attacking Cattle in Ferry County

Aug 25, 2016 04:00 AM EDT

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced its intention to kill the wolf pack that has been terrorizing cattle in the Ferry County area.

According to a report from King 5, the movement to eliminate the 11 wolves began at the start of the month of August when five cows were discovered dead or injured. After this incident, the director of the WDFW authorized the partial removal of the pack, which led to two female wolves killed.

Wolf activity ceased but resumed on Aug. 19 when more cattle were found dead or injured. This time, the WDFW issued a full pack removal.

The authorization to kill the entire pack was not without its detractors. It's a controversial move as wolves are listed as an endangered species. State Sen. Kevin Ranker, former chair of the state Natural Resources Committee, called the move "extreme" and pointed out that the original plan was only to eliminate half of the pack.

"I was told that removal of half the pack would make a difference, and now we're being told they are going to remove the entire pack?" Sen. Ranker said. "They haven't implemented their first plan."

In the meantime, Wolf Policy Lead for WDFW Danny Martorello revealed that there are strict protocols for the operations. While the department refused to divulge details, they addressed the public to ask for patience and space.

"We are kindly asking for a little space and understanding so we can maintain the highest level of safety for the public, the staff and our producers," Martorello said.

Washington is not the only state having trouble with wolf population. A report from Casper Star Tribune revealed that Wyoming is also experiencing a spike in conflict between wolves and livestock. Tyler Abbott, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's deputy field supervisor for Wyoming, said that the problem will escalate further during late summer and fall when the pups have grown and require more food.

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