News Stories

The End of Wolves

Is this good or bad? - It's not only dolphins and whales that are in trouble--land animals are too (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to these shows). Hunters couldn't get the right to slaughter dolphins and whale hunts are being limited, so now they're trying to kill wolves. A recent political candidate even boasted about shooting them from a helicopter! Without these predators, the deer population will explode, bring many new cases of lyme disease.

Wolves were once almost poisoned to extinction by farmers protecting their livestock, but since they were added to the Endangered Species list 20 years ago, they are making a come back and farmers are seeking the authority to start killing them again.

In the US, we're not menaced by gorillas and monkeys, but they can be dangerous. 250 million people in tropical countries get malaria every year and a million of them die from it. Most of these human infections can be traced back to a single infected gorilla. AIDS may have jumped from primates as well.

When researchers made a genetic study of the parasites that cause malaria that are found in primate feces, they discovered that the parasite most closely related to human malaria came from gorillas. It may have made the leap from animal to human with a single mosquito bite. But no one knows WHEN this happened: It could have taken place fairly recently or sometime in the deep past--anytime between 5,000 and 300,000 years ago.

When it comes to wolves, Idaho director for Wildlife Services Matthew Brown says on the MSNBC website, "You just have to accept that part of having wolves is having to kill wolves."

Some hunters have suggested surgically sterilizing adults and gassing pups in their dens. Some states cull wolves by shooting them from aircraft. Montana and Idaho held official hunts in 2009, but a court ruling ended their 2010 plans. They may try again in 2011.

Have Whitley and Anne fended off so many attacks over the years, only to be killed off by neglect today? Only YOU can change that: subscribe today. And please click on the "donate" tab on our homepage too!

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Art credit: Dreamstime.com

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