It's 2011....and people are still feeding wild animals!
A habituated gray wolf believed to be conditioned to human foods was killed by Yellowstone National Park staff on October 8th.
Since July, the 110-pound male wolf had approached staff and visitors at close range at least seven times and had been unsuccessfully hazed each time from the Fishing Bridge developed areas. The wolf was a member of Mollie's Pack from the Pelican Valley area, and was estimated to be between 2 and 4 years old.
The decision to remove the wolf came following a history of fearless behavior in the presence of humans, repeated visitation to developed areas within the park and numerous unsuccessful hazing attempts. Each of these factors was indicative of the wolf's potential habituation to human food, which posed an increased risk to park visitors and staff.
Efforts to relocate food-conditioned animals have generally proven unsuccessful because they simply return to the areas from which they were removed.
What does it take for people to understand that feeding wildlife is bad for the animal, and potentially bad for other people? You can read the rest of the press release by clicking here.