Posts Tagged ‘Montana’

Pets shouldn’t roam where coyotes do

May 19, 2008

Our 5-year-old cat, Sully, had survived two years in the near-wilds of Montana, where mountain lions also roam, but he couldn’t make it six months in the northwest Denver suburbs. This fat feline disappeared one night in early December, and we knew he was a goner.

Two weeks after his disappearance, we learned that a neighbor had seen three coyotes supping on our Sully one snowy evening. So fat that people always asked if he was pregnant, Sully didn’t have a chance against three lean, ravenous coyotes.

Sadly, family pets frequently disappear from back yards. It’s not just coyotes stalking them: Foxes, mountain lions, wolves, bears, hawks and alligators also make a dent in the pet population. But few predators are as ubiquitous as the coyote. And hawks and foxes can’t carry off a 30-pound dog.

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Federal judge in Montana rejects bid to delay wolf lawsuit

May 10, 2008

A federal judge in Montana has rejected a request by the government to delay a lawsuit seeking to place the gray wolf back on the endangered species list, saying he’s “unwilling to risk more deaths.”

At least 39 of the Northern Rockies’ 1,500 gray wolves have been killed since they lost federal protection in March. That action placed wolves under the authority of state wildlife agencies in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.

The three states have relaxed rules for killings wolves that harass or harm livestock. The states are also planning public hunts later this year — the first in decades.

Environmental and animal rights groups sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last week, claiming the loss of federal protection threatens the wolf’s successful recovery. They also asked for a court injunction to restore federal control over wolves while the case is pending.

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Montana Dog Owners Find Wild-Animal Traps Put Pets in Harm’s Way

April 29, 2008

The first order of business when freeing a dog caught in a trap, Anja Heister said, is to put a stick in its mouth.

“No matter how much it loves you, it may try to bite,” Ms. Heister explained to a group gathered at a coffee shop here last week.

The demonstration was one of several across Montana being conducted by Footloose Montana, a nonprofit organization led by Ms. Heister. The group is teaching people how to free pets inadvertently caught in traps set legally for wild fur-bearing animals.

Trapping is common in many parts of the country. But in Western states like Montana much of it takes place on public lands, where conflicts are playing out with increasing frequency between trappers and recreational users as the number of retirees and second-home owners grows.

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