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Central Wisconsin Wolf Attack Renews Call To Action

Lawmaker Says Wolves Need To Be Removed From Endangered Species List, Wolf Hunt Restored

gray wolf
About half a dozen wolves have been killed by poison in northern Wisconsin since Dec. 2018. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Fish and Wildlife are investigating the incidents. Charles Higgins (CC-BY-NC)

A wolf attack that killed seven sheep on a farm in the Wisconsin Rapids area is spurring a renewed effort to regulate the animals.

The sheep were killed in a matter of minutes on July 4 by a single wolf that was able to get by a protective fence designed to protect the flock from such attacks, according to Bryan Jones, who owns the farm a few miles west of Wisconsin Rapids.

“Basically, all of ours that died had bites next to the neck,” said Jones, whose flock has some 175 animals. “You know, ripped the throat out. It was all internal bleeding. Sheep really can’t defend themselves. All they can do is flock.”

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State Rep. Scott Krug, R-Nekoosa, said it’s time to again remove wolves from the endangered species list.

“If we can work with the federal government to reinstate our well-regulated hunt that we had for a couple of years, I think that goes a little bit of the way toward where we need to get to,” he said.

In 2014, a federal judge put wolves back on the list, ending the state’s wolf hunt

Krug said as wolves move farther south, more conflicts with people are occurring.

“We have a pretty substantial pack that runs around the Lake Petenwell area,” he said. “With the increased population in these areas, it’s very concerning for residents, producers, hunters and others to figure out how to coexist with these animals we haven’t typically seen in these areas before.”

Krug also said farmers should be better compensated for their losses in wolf attacks.