Monday, December 19, 2011

Gray wolf killed while lurking near NM ranch house

Federal wildlife officials killed a female wolf Wednesday night after she hung around a ranch house in western New Mexico, even spending time on the front porch. Members of the Interagency Field Team tried to dart the wolf, tranquilize her and move her to another area, said Tom Buckley, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman. But those efforts failed and officials shot the wolf, which had mated with a dog and had pups earlier this year. The events leading to the latest shooting began Tuesday afternoon, when Crystal Diamond and her two young daughters, ages 2 and 3, returned home to the Beaverhead Ranch. In a written statement, Diamond said she was unloading her pickup truck after several days away with her kids, and the dogs were playing in the yard. Then a neighbor came speeding up the driveway, shouting out the window, she wrote. "He yelled for me to take the girls inside while pointing to the dogs who were roughhousing with a collared wolf no farther than 35 feet from my 2-year-old daughter. I grabbed my girls and ran inside, slamming the door behind us." The neighbor fired a rifle to scare the wolf away, and Diamond locked her dogs and children inside, she wrote. But after the sun set, the wolf came back to the house. As Diamond sat in her house, about 6:30 p.m., she looked over her shoulder at a window a few feet away and saw the wolf pressing its nose against the glass, she wrote. Tracks showed the wolf had been walking around the porch and yard. Wildlife officials came to the home the next day, Diamond wrote, and that evening they shot the wolf about 150 yards from her house...more

Crystal Diamond's written statement is here.

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