[Wildlife] How much do we love wolves in this country?
We love them so, so much we've taken to spotting them roaming in the foothills of the Salt Lake 'burbs in Olympus Cove, even when wildlife experts are saying the specimen in question is more likely a wolf-dog hybrid.
The wolf, with its incredibly sophisticated social structure, lonely howl and just-close-enough-to-domestic-dog looks is the stuff of legend and of our wildest imaginations. We respect their instincts and power, envy their "lone-wolfness." (The photo here is from Smithsonian Magazine.)
But we don't love wolves enough, apparently, to keep them protected and on the federal endangered species list for much longer. The western gray wolf, which has flourished in the 33 years since it was reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park from Canada, is on the fast track to being delisted. Environmentalists are sounding the alarm about moving too quickly, but it looks like one more midnight-hour policy change we'll be able to thank George W. Bush for in his last year in office. The war, yes. The wolves, no. You know, let's just let everything go to hell.
On a related topic, if you've ever wondered how a Yellowstone gray wolf might fare in a rendezvous with a grizzly bear, go here and find out.
There's just something about Canis lupus. (Holly Mullen)