Walk for Wolves has been organized to raise awareness about the threats affecting the wolf population throughout the United States. In addition to losing their habitat, the most detrimental threats come from government bills allowing hunting and trapping an indiscriminate number of wolves by methods such as shooting, trapping and snaring where the latter two are considered inhumane. Illegal hunting and trapping has also caused a high mortality in wolves and hatred driven wolf groups have been known to use brutal killing methods such as shooting wolves in the abdomen (gut-shot) and poisoning to name a few.
The masses need to know, our government needs to listen so we can proactively change current legislations and offer protection to these species. Coexisting through adaption is the key to success in this matter. Join us as an organizer or as a participant and howl with us Saturday, April 27th in a 3-mile walk near your city.
How it all began
A trip to Yellowstone in the winter of 2012 after the death of Alpha Female 832F from the Lamar Canyon Pack put everything into perspective. The Lamar Valley was empty as the pack had ventured outside the park with tragic results. First, the loss of Beta Male 854M and then Alpha Female 832F, both legally hunted just a few miles outside Yellowstone National Park. After returning home, on January 3, 2013, the Protecting Yellowstone Wolves Facebook page was created and quickly acquired followers by the thousands with 19,900+ as of April 23, 2013 and still growing. This was an indicator of many people supporting wolf conservation with just a handful of anti-wolf individuals who on and off have something to say on this page. Overwhelmingly, people from all over the US and outside the country, including hunters who do not hunt for trophy, made comments on our Facebook page and talked about their support to protect wolves in general, not just in Yellowstone where their motto is “you only kill what you eat”. Shortly after creating that page it became evident that despite the remarkable support, nothing would change unless we, ordinary citizens who want to change the inhumane treatment and hatred towards wolf species, would have to make an effort outside this page to raise awareness by pressuring State and Federal Government Agencies to listen to our concerns.
The Walk For Wolves website was launched in March 3, 2013 and since then, people from all over the United States have signed up to participate in a walk near their city. While this is a grassroots movement with no affiliation to other organizations, some non-profit wolf protection organizations have kindly shown their support by either donating some of their brochures and/or helping advertise the event and in some cases being part of these awareness walks. Organizations such as National Wolfwatcher Coalition, the California Wolf Center, Western Wyoming Wolf Alliance, Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center, Howling For Justice, Wolf Warriors, Wyoming Wolves Untrapped, Fighters Against Animal Cruelty, WildEarth Guardians, Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance, United Advocates for the Protection of Wolves, & The Wolf Army to name a few have supported this effort. However, the ultimate success of these walks rest on all the participants and particularly the strong leaders who are volunteering their personal time and resources to make their walks successful. It’s amazing to see people from all ages and backgrounds to come together, unified for a common cause such as protecting wolves.
It should be noted that strong leaders from Cody WY and Bozeman MT signed up for this event but unfortunately, they have not been able to get many people to join. In states such as Wyoming, Montana and Idaho where the anti-wolf sentiments can be intimidating and confrontational; people in these states want to protect wolves but they are afraid to stand up for what they believe in, perhaps fearing retaliation. Fortunately, we will be having awareness walks in 25 cities throughout the US, most of them taking place Saturday, April 27. Hopefully, additional 4 to 5 cities would be included in this list but time is critical as the date is approaching quickly. Even if we don't get laws to be changed right away, at minimum, this could be the starting point of a global grassroots movement aiming to protect not only wolves but all other animals subject to inhumane practices allowed by Wildlife Services which include gut-shots (shooting the wolf in the stomach leading to a slow and painful death), snaring, trapping, hounding (using dogs to hunt wolves), denning (killing pups at the den site) poisoning and illegal hunting/poaching. The public needs to be aware of these cruel practices, learn from unbiased research data and propagate non-lethal methods ranchers can use to coexist with wolves. I hope that with our help government officials start listening to citizens’ concerns and that we contribute to help protect our wolves and their environment.