Washington state prepares for gray wolves

July 30, 2007

Washington officials are taking steps to ensure that the predicted resurgence of the endangered gray wolf in the state is managed correctly.

With state biologist Scott Fisher recently catching a glimpse of a possible gray wolf in a series of photographs, officials recognize that proper steps must be taken to help the rare wolf species thrive, The Seattle Times said Monday.

"We've had several wolves make forays into the state," Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife official Rocky Beach said. "We're getting more reports of wolves, both anecdotally and from our own people. They haven't set up shop and started making packs. But they're coming."

Washington ranchers and hunters made the species Canis lupus endangered because they viewed the wolf as a threat.

But environmentalists have alleged that the elusive predators are actually little danger to humans and livestock.

Their claims that all wolf species are actually part of nature's wild food chain in part led to the statewide drive to protect the wolves should they return in full, the Times said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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