Wildlife official are urging the residents of two small Montana towns to be vigilant, not let their dogs run freely and if they do take their dogs on walks, keep them on a leash in lighted areas.
The concern is that wolves moving in and out of Yellowstone Park are wandering between homes in the small communities of Cooke City and Silver Gate, which are immediately north of the park.
“As with mountain lions and bears, when we see wild animals approaching people, there is concern for human safety. We don’t like to have to kill wildlife, but sometimes we don’t have any other choice,” said Mark Deleray, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks regional supervisor in Bozeman. “We are not there yet with these wolves – although they have been in and around town. We will continue to assess the situation, do our best to track current wolf behavior, and base our future actions on that assessment.”
Montana law allows citizens to protect themselves, livestock, and dogs from wolves. If a wolf is on private property and is posing a potential threat to human safety, livestock, or dogs, a landowner may kill a wolf without a license. On public or private land, a person may kill a wolf that is in the act of attacking, killing, or threatening a person or livestock, or attacking or killing a domestic dog. The landowner must report these incidents to FWP.
(Photo source: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks)