At the beginning of April 2018, photos of a family wolves killed by a hunter in Alaska surfaced on the Internet, moments after the state issued an emergency early end to the hunting and trapping season in the area. This sadly makes what the person responsible did, totally legal.
It was aboard his snowmobile that the hunter attacked a whole family of wolves, about 100 kilometres from Denali National Park, Alaska. If hunting is illegal inside the park, it is perfectly legal to hunt and kill animals outside of the park.
Deux loups dans le Denali National Park : Source : NPS Photo
According to The Dodo, before the massacre, the state of Alaska, announced an emergency hunting ban in the Stampede Trail region, an area close to the national park.
The wolf harvest this season in the area described is more than the past five-year average and there is the potential for more harvest to occur before the end of the regulatory hunting and trapping seasons,” the emergency order reads.
Source: Alaska Department of Fish and Game
However, many wolf activists don't see this ban in a completely positive light. And for good reason, wolves are becoming increasingly scarce in the area.
Since 1986, their population has fallen drastically. The Wolf Conservation Center (WWC), wrote in a statement:
For several years now, there has been a notable decline in the number of wolf sightings in Denali and research indicates that wolf mortality rates in the park have recently spiked to worrying levels. The percentage of sightseers who have spotted a wolf has dropped from 45 percent to just 5 percent.
Wolves in the Denali National Park – Source: Good Woolf
Overhunting has already decimated wolf populations all over the world. Though this practice is illegal in Denali National Park, its borders are danger zones for wolf families that call the park home.
Source: Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility
However, because wolfs aren't considered endangered in Alaska, what this hunter did is perfectly legal. WCC wrote:
It’s too late for these 10 wolves, but we can't give up on protecting the others who call Denali National Park home.
If you recall, a year ago, a beloved white wolf was killed in Yellowstone National Park, US.