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Fair Game: Rowayton Activist Takes on Alaska over Wolves' Killings

March 11, 2005 | Wolves

by Charles Walsh
*Connecticut Post (Published: March 11, 2005)*

Ever since Priscilla Feral launched a boycott of Alaskan tourism in [1992], her name has been mud with an iceberg-sized chunk of that state’s population.

Not that it bothers the Rowayton resident and long-time president of and chief spokeswoman for Darien-based Friends of Animals, who takes a certain amount of pride in calling herself “the punching bag of Alaskan talk radio.”

Feral is well known in Connecticut as a tenacious and vociferous animal rights activist who has protested everything from pig races in Derby to the thinning of deer herds in Greenwich.

The Alaskan tourism boycott, which Feral says [in 1993] cost Alaska $100 million in bookings, is in protest of the state’s policy of allowing people to shoot wolves from helicopters and airplanes, a practice Feral likens to “a video game.” Friends of Animals also annoys some Alaskans by organizing mass protests called “Howl-Ins” of the wolf-killing policies.

Feral is no fan of Alaska’s current governor, Republican Frank Murkowski, calling his wildlife policies “draconian.”

The talk radio hosts rarely miss an opportunity to characterize Feral as an “outsider” and “meddler,” while hunters who call in usually draw on terms unsuitable in a family newspaper.

Talk radio is not the only Alaskan media taking pot shots at Feral. In February, the News-Miner in Fairbanks carried an editorial entitled “Oh, please Priscilla” that charged that the Friends’ efforts to stop the state’s wolf control program were “futile.” The editorial said Feral failed to rally the Alaskan public to the cause and therefore was forced to sue state wildlife officials. (The suit is scheduled to go to trial in May.)

...The latest collision between Feral and Alaska’s hunters and wildlife establishment involves an injured female wolf that is hanging around the small village of Evansville on the Dalton Highway 200 miles north of Fairbanks. A few village residents have fed the wolf, an act that is illegal under Alaskan law. Evansville is a cluster of 15 homes, called “a suburb” of the nearby metropolis (20 houses and a store) of Beetle.

Fearing the wolf might injure someone, wildlife officials at first wanted to shoot it. But an Evansville woman, Wyoma Knight, a member of the Inubec tribe, knowing of Friends of Animals’ opposition on wolf killing programs, alerted Feral to the animal’s plight. Feral offered to have Friends of Animals pay the expense of having the wolf trapped and transported to a wolf sanctuary in Washington state.

By last Saturday, the story was front-page news in the News-Miner. And the radio talk shows were buzzing again.

Full article: http://www.connpost.com/ci_2601304

Comments

Hunting has always been a sport and no one will ever convince me otherwise. It was just proven again in the March 11th article Fair Game, stating hunting (slaughtering) from planes and helicoptors.

I think you know you're making waves when the opposition gets insulting.

pricilla should be applauded! long-standing and outspoken, she voices what is foremost on the minds of we who believe the wolf hunt is cruel and unsupported by the majority. hunting was for the frontier. the ones calling themselves 'hunter' should do as she describes, 'get the video game!'.

What really makes me sick is the fact that these hunters say that the wolves are responsible for the drastic decline of moose or caribou, yet from what I've heard from the scientists is completely different; they studied this subject by going to Alaska and doing an observation, and discovered that the hunters had slaughtered hundereds of moose and caribou each year, while wolves only took a few dozen per year.

I don't know where I got this, but it is ALWAYS appropriate. *Hunting is savagery in the name of tradition, hypocrisy in the name of conservation, and cruelty in the name of sport.*

wolves are one of God's greatest wild animals. They were here before we were and we should respect them. I believe that people who murder animals are very stupid. As I always say people should not inter fear with nature!!!

I just discovered this site, thanks to your advertisement in the Sunday issue of the Star-Ledger newspaper. I commend the hard work and heavy lifting that you are doing; it's important. I have traveled a good piece of wild Alaska and, although it seems vast to someone from the lower 48, the large mammals like the wolves and moose, bear and musk ox need the space and a viable ecosystem in order to continue to survive. There aren't that many wolves, and there is no valid, viable reason to be hunting them from the air, which is, indeed, also cruel. The number of wolves, moose & caribou, and other animals, will ebb and flow and correct each other IF they are not unnecessarily meddled with by "sport" hunters.

Hunting is evil, and i appreciate every person who tries to fight it. We kill enough animals, no need to "control the populations" by killing them. Nature has a way of balancing things out, without our "help". Where's the peace?

Why in Gods name does anyone have a right to kill any animal?? Do they not know the greatest fear of a wolf is a human?? They haven't been able to prove any wolf has attacked anyone? Why kill them?? They are wonderful loving animals.All you have to do is get to know one and you will find out. I have 3, and I dare anyone to try to hurt them. How would they like us killing their families? It is no different. Geez, when is the goverment gonna leave people and animals at peace. It is bad enough they are oil drilling all over the place.Taking away the woods, and forests for these animals to live in. Now they go and shoot them from airplanes. Who has gave them the right to murder any animals? Wolves, Elk, Buffalo, etc??? WHO???

There is no reason for these animals to be shot from helicopters and planes. Yes nature has her own way of dealing with these problems, but what are those ways you ask. When populations rise to a point that isn't sustainable for the environment, disease sets in. I don't believe that the killing of wolves in Alaska is needed, but don't say it isn't needed anywhere. I am a resource manager and i have done studies where large mammals will abandon their young because of food shortages. Now i ask you, what is more inhumane. Where do you draw the line.

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