Example: [Collected via e-mail, December 2011]
p.s. it's just a matter of time before one of our granola loving green peace hikers goes out on a hike and runs into a pack of these killers and becomes part of the food chain. If you are going into the Blues, Cascades, or up above Spokane hiking, game scouting, mushroom hunting, or something else you better start carrying a side arm. Can you even imagine being out by yourself and having 8 to 12 of these monsters surround you! Think about what kind of appetite a dozen of these must have and remember they are the only predator in our nation that kills for fun along with for food. The amount of animals they take are just a partial portion of what they need to eat. When elk are calving they will kill the calves just for fun after they have had all they can eat and leave the rest to rot.
Origins: We haven't definitively established the specific origins of all the wolf photographs shown above, but it's probably safe to say they were not all, as claimed above, taken in Idaho, as the same images have been widely circulated in various forms and identified as pictures snapped in Montana, Wyoming, Minnesota, Alaska, British Columbia, Alberta, and Manitoba. The top three photographs, which appear to feature the same wolf, were posted to a hunting-related web site in
Of that first photo, the Idaho Mountain Express reported:
"That thing has gone viral!" said Todd Grimm, spokesman for Idaho Wildlife Services. "I can tell you it's not in Idaho," he said.
Regan Berkley, a wildlife biologist with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, said she's seen the photo attributed to a myriad of locations.
"I'm almost certain it wasn't from the Sun Valley area," Berkley said in an email, adding that she's seen it listed as being killed in Idaho, Montana and various parts of Canada.
Canada might be the best guess, according to wildlife officials. Grimm said the man in the photo is likely holding the wolf in Alberta or British Columbia. Randy Smith, big-game manager for the department's regional office in Jerome, said the first time he saw the photo, it was listed as having been taken in British Columbia.
"The next time I saw it, it was marked Idaho," he said.
Jess Edberg, Information Services Director for the International Wolf Center, told us that:
The wolves in Idaho were indeed translocated from Alberta, Canada, but are the species of wolf that inhabited the Northern Rockies historically. Arguments over what subspecies should exist are rampant but science and recent genetic studies clearly show that subspecies distinction has little importance for the recovery of the wolf as the regionally distinct populations of wolves have little genetic distinction.
As far as the hunting and feeding behaviors, yes wolves have been known to surplus kill in times of plenty, meaning they may kill more than they can eat (so called "sport" hunting "for fun" as mentioned in the quote). However, this natural predatory behavior is to ensure a future food source as wolves are scavengers that will eat from food sources that are already dead and even fairly decomposed. This behavior is also documented in other predatory animals around the world.
The average wolf will consume the equivalent of
Last updated: 18 January 2012
Medred, Craig. "Wolves Killed Alaska Teacher in 2010, State Says." Alaska Dispatch. 6 December 2011. Wutz, Catherine. "Fish and Game: Wolf Photo a Hoax." Idaho Mountain Express 2 November 2011.