On Dec. 6, a Wyoming hunter killed one of Yellowstone’s most famous wolves, 832F, outside the park’s boundaries. It was a legal kill, yet within 48 hours, news organizations across the country ran stories mourning the wolf’s death and treating it like, well, the loss of a family friend. Wolf advocate Marc Cooke of Montana’s Bitterroot Valley lamented, “She was an amazing mother.” Wolf photographer Barrett Hedges called her “inspirational,” while others declared her to be a “rock star” and a “consummate professional.” The latter referred to her leadership abilities as the alpha female of the Lamar Canyon Pack, which resides mostly in northeastern Yellowstone. As someone who has had the good fortune to watch 832F lead her pack across the Lamar Valley, I, too, felt a pang of sadness when I heard the news. Yet I resisted the urge to denigrate her killer and reminded myself why I
Killing wolves is part of the bargain
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