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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of April 3 - 9 , 2002


Two wolves killed for eating sheep

CLAYTON, Idaho — Two members of the Whitehawk wolf pack were killed Monday by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after feeding on a sheep on private land along the East Fork of the Salmon River.

Necropsies confirmed that the two gray wolves, both yearling males, had killed the sheep Sunday, Fish and Wildlife officials said in a press release.

"Harassment devices have been in operation for the past two years to discourage wolves from frequenting several ranches in the area," Fish and Wildlife stated. "One wolf, B-125, was radio-collared, and wolf recovery specialists are confident that most of the other Whitehawk Pack members are also collared, which will facilitate monitoring the remaining wolves."

Fish and Wildlife and USDA Wildlife Services also tried to haze the wolves with helicopters in an effort to scatter the pack and keep the wolves away from the ranch where the sheep was killed.

Fish and Wildlife has "issued lethal wolf take permits to four ranchers in the East Fork because of the Whitehawk Pack’s chronic depredation pattern," said Idaho Wolf Recovery coordinator Carter Niemyer. "The lethal take permits will allow ranchers to kill any single wolf on their private land over the next 45 days.

He said this option will give the ranchers more flexibility in control of problem wolves. "We are hopeful that the implementation of these management actions will be successful in the East Fork area."

The Wildlife Service also announced a gray wolf found east of Yellow Pine died from a gunshot wound.

The wolf was found in Valley County and sent to the agency’s forensic lab in Ashland, Ore.

The agents are pursuing several possible leads. Anyone with information about the killing or suspicious behavior in the area March 16-19 should contact the service’s Boise office.

"Substantial rewards are offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for this illegal act," said Paul Weyland, lead agent in the case.

It is the second case of an illegal wolf kill in Idaho this year. Another one was found shot to death near Glenns Ferry in January.

The killing of an animal protected under the Endangered Species Act is punishable by a fine of up to $100,000 and one year in jail.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.