Commentary: Killing wolf pups was bad move

This editorial appeared in The Anchorage Daily News.

Alaska has a long-standing rule against going into wolf dens to kill pups – and for good reason. To most people, it seems inhumane for humans to kill utterly defenseless creatures. The rest of the world does not look kindly on a state that permits such a gruesome practice.

But this spring, state Fish and Game biologists found wolf pups in their dens on the Alaska Peninsula and killed them.

It was part of a state wolf-extermination effort designed to help a shrinking caribou herd where few calves were surviving each year. The pups' parents had already been killed, so a state crew dispatched the pups as well.

Fish and Game initially tried to hush up the incident. Officials knew it would be unpopular and did their best to keep it quiet.

But Fish and Game officials eventually fessed up. As they feared, a public outcry resulted.

Critics pointed out that killing pups in their den is prohibited by the department's own regulations.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Anchorage Daily News.