The second wolf killed in the state's first wolf hunt is tagged and will be checked for age and other data. Field researchers also trap and radio-collar wolves to do more extensive research. (Cory Morse | MLive.com) (CORY MORSE)
on August 14, 2014
The researcher, who was alone during the incident in Gogebic County last month, shot the wolf in the head, she said. The action was necessary to test for rabies and other diseases, though the damage to the brain tissue made the tests impossible, she add. “We’ve have had other field staff bitten (by wolves). It’s not common but it’s not unheard of,” Munson Badini said.
DNR wolf expert Adam Bump was not immediately available for comment. But in a recent radio interview he characterized the early-July incident as “very rare” and said “It’s one of the risks that researchers have to take when they are trying to get information on animals to help with management.”
He said the injured researcher is under contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fish and Wildlife Services, and has done control work in the past.
There are an estimated 636 wolves in the Upper Peninsula. Twenty-two were killed last year in Michigan’s first managed wolf hunt, out of a possible 43. An MLive.com investigation found government half-truths, falsehoods and livestock numbers skewed by a single farmer distorted some arguments for the inaugural hunt.
Supporters say that wolf hunts are an effective population-control tool for limiting attacks on livestock and pets, arguments bolstered by recent news that wolves had killed five hunting dogs in the span of three days, along with a cow.
Anti-hunt groups have placed two measures on the November ballot to stymie future hunts. But the state Senate passed a citizen initiative Wednesday that would essentially makes those measures not, and leave decisions in the Natural Resources Commission's hands.
House passage is also required for it to go into effect. The House next meets on Aug. 27.