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Gray Wolf Shot in Whitman County, Washington, Adding to Issue

Endangered Gray Wolf Shot in Whitman County, Washington
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Endangered species gray wolf was tracked and shot in Whitman County, Washington by farmer.

Recently, a gray wolf was shot southwest of Pullman, Washington. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife determined that the wolf was shot without any defense, something that is illegal and is a federal offense.

The law (often interpreted in different ways by different people) states that a farm owner may shoot and kill a wolf if it is caught in the act of killing livestock in Eastern Washington. This, according to the WDFW, did not happen. This story is still under investigation.

Ten years ago, it would be very rare to see this massive endangered gray wolf anywhere but in the mountain ranges, most likely east of Spokane in the higher, more rugged country of Montana. They may have been seen on either the Spokane or Colville Indian Reservations.

But recently, wolves have been spotted near Ewan, Edwall, Ritzville, and Davenport, all small towns in Eastern Washington. It appears that these wolves are beginning to stretch their territories near and far, which is scary for domesticated cattle, pig, sheep, and goat ranchers in those parts.

These ranchers are beginning to spread the word in hopes that the Federal Wildlife and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will make necessary changes for the sake of keeping their ranches healthy and alive.

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The question that remains throughout Washington State is whether or not these farmers should be allowed to shoot these wolves. Most farmers realize that these wolves can travel a long ways in a short amount of time and take out livestock in massive quantities.

Farmers are hoping, with the assistance of both state and federal, that they can come to some ratification soon, before their ranches continue to dwindle in size.

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Gray Wolf Shot in Whitman County, Washington, Adding to Issue