ENDANGERED SPECIES -- Pro-wolf groups praised the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department's decision to attempt to capture the Ruby Creek wolf and put it in a Western Washington wildlife park to avoid conflicts with humans in rural areas near Ione.
Even though the Ruby Creek wolf had previously been trapped by researchers and is wearing a transmitting collar, capture crews had no luck on Friday and there's still no word today.
Which gives us pause to consider:
- Once a wolf has been pinched by a trap, it's extremely difficult to catch again.
- Baiting options for capturing a wolf would have to be monitored constantly to avoid compromising other wildlife.
- Tranquilizing a wolf by shooting from a helicopter is expensive and dangerous.
Are we going to crash a helicopter and kill a pilot and biologist before we come to grips with how many lives and how much money we're willing to risk to make people feel good about managing wolves?