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Alaska Wolves Public Service Announcement

November 01, 2004 | Wolves

Friends of Animals would like to announce the release of a new public service announcement, now available via Internet. The name of the video is Alaska Wolves.

Alaska Wolves brings to viewers a dramatized scene of aerial wolf hunting. The practice was ended in Alaska in the 1970s, and the state’s residents have actually voted twice to end same-day use of aircraft for public wolf hunting and trapping. Yet pilots in search of prey have come back to haunt North American wolves under the Governor Frank Murkowski’s undemocratic leadership.

It is now clear that the Alaskans who want an end to the hunts need outside support. Alaska seems remote to many, but we believe that people will be motivated to intervene on behalf of the wolves once the world sees what is happening.

We have set up a special donation page, and we ask for your help to further our efforts to save Alaska Wolves.

If you are a member of the media and are interested in airing this public service announcement copies can be made available upon request. Please email us at info@friendsofanimals.org.

Friends of Animals would like to thank the following individuals who contributed to the creation of this public service announcement: Chooi-Leng Tan, Todd Kuehnl, Arnold Gallardo, Scott Moran, Nathan Searles, Barbara LaRue, Leo Keeler, Dorothy Keeler, and Josh Schaerti.

Comments

[Forwarded message follows. A sport to chase wolves to exhaustion; a sport to chase their domesticated descendants to exhaustion; it does seem eerily connected...] From: Thomas Classen To: Sun, INTERNET:letters@sunherald.com Date: 17 FEB 2005 4:19 PM RE: Iditarod If you think the Iditarod is user friendly you know nothing about dogs and/or mushing. Sure they make a big show about dog care during the race but what about before and after. It's virtually nonexistent. If a dog gets sick a bullet in the head solves the problem. There are some dogs that have made two or three Iditarod runs but most never repeat. A lot of them die after the race but no one ever hears about them. Many pups are born each spring but not many make the team. What to do with all the dogs? Again a bullet in the head solves the problem. Not much in keeping/feeding a dog that in of no use to you. The life of a race dog is about seven years. One way or another the musher will get rid of the dog. A dog handler who worked for one of the leading mushers told me this guy digs a big hole each year and would throw all his dead dogs into it and come spring would cover it up. Yes dog mushing is great fun but dogs have a limited running life. I trained a team once to run on the river in back of my home. At the age of five I could see that is was getting to be painful for them so I had to stop. I kept the dogs and a couple of them lived to be 16 years old. They were pets and well cared for. If you have heard of Mary Shields she is that type of musher and is still caring for her old dogs but she is the exception. Try to take care of 50 dogs for a year and you will become acutely aware of the work involved. Until you walk the path you know nothing about the problem. The cruelty involved is something no kid should be exposed to. If you tell them otherwise you are lying. Thomas J. Classen,
Fairbanks, Alaska

Good commentary. The unqualified "sled dog" comments put my back up a little, because many dogs love to pull and would happily be sled dogs, but competitive breeding and racing of sled dogs is probably not such a pretty picture. It seems that many of us want a path of "non-interference" with nature, and it's tempting to tout this, but is not possible. By our very nature (and just like any animal) we change our environment. Unfortunately,our intelligence has allowed us to become only too good at doing this, and without a simultaneous increase in wisdom. This does not mean that I feel we should kill these wolves, merely that if there is a "wolf problem" we should examine it more closely. It is very likely not a wolf problem at all, but (as Art suggested above) a human problem. Also, the statement that people living in Alaska could choose alternative diets that don't cause conflict with wolves is not very supportable. The people who have lived in Alaska for thousands of years have always eaten a meat-centered diet, as the tundra does not support very many edible plants (correct me if I'm wrong). Of course, this is not wolves' fault either. It seems likely that the number of people in Alaska was traditionally much lower than the current population, although I don't personally know that. Just a few thoughts.

Julie, my dogs certainly seem to enjoy pulling me. But they can stop when they want to. And I'm not convinced that dogs like to haul sleds over distance. Even with (what's known as) recreational mushing, the sled dog must keep up with the team. Some may tire sooner than others. Some may simply prefer not to pull a sled. Since it's common for recreational sled dogs to be confined, we might misinterpret their release from idleness as enthusiasm for sleding. But can we really say that our recreation is theirs? I believe that dogs should not be bred as objects of human interest. To say anyhing less would mean I agree to keeping them perpetually dependent on an animal species--humans--who will always use them selfishly, and often against their best intersts. About the statement that Alaskans can switch to an alternative diet, I think many--perhaps most--Alaskans may do so. When people can obtain nutritious plant-based foods, whether they grow or buy them, they are free to choose a vegetarian or vegan diet. And if they want to eat meat, this does not require them to hunt moose, or caribou, which has been an issue in the "wolf-control" program. The Alaskans who are claiming "subsistence" do not appear to be limited. If they can drive cars and fly airplanes, they can certainly pick-up supplies of their choosing.

Stop messing with MOTHER NATURE! She corrects herself when the need arises. It is a FACT that wolves will adjust their own numbers when prey is low. Humans have created this problem right from the beginning when they decided hunting for SPORT was profitable. Leave it alone and let it correct itself. To Nick, the hunter of food. Why is it that you find the need to hunt for food and clothing, but you have access to the internet and a computer???? Get real. I am so sick of these so called "hunters" claiming they have a "right" to kill these aninmals. Please tell me "Who gave you that right?" This is the year 2005, you CANNOT tell me you need to hunt to feed and clothe your family. Again GET REAL. Diana a.k.a TheWalker

hey Diana, I don't hunt fo rthe sport. I would rather get me an animal that hasen't been over fed and pumped full of chemicals to make it tase better. It's more healthier too. When i am hunting it's not the kill I enjoy it's the experience i get when I am in the wilderness. The smell of high bush cranberries, the beautiful scenery. Most of the time i don't really care if i get an animal or not. If you are so sick why don't you go se a doctor about your attitude. I came to this website to try and tell you people about how hunting traditionally was and not just sport. I hate sprt hunters. There arrogent and Stupid! They don't care about nothing but getting the biggest animal and to stuff it and let everyone know about it.My family is from a village that has only one store in it and they still have to wear animal fur becasue that's there life style and they will never change that. If you think it's easy to just fly a plane from a village to the city think again. It's extremely expensive. Most of the people don't have money because they live off the land.Fuel prices in alaska are higher than the rest of the states. I just wish people wouldn't exaggerate things until they see it through someone elses life style.

Nick, I've read that because of the Alaskan climate, the Aleuts have relied on a diet of fish. I think it's inteteresting that some American Indian groups based their diet on plant foods in the warmer regions. They did not rely on hunting until the Spanish colonists came. And they were the first people to cultivate more than half of the variety of vegetables we eat today.

The tragic news that continues to come out of Alaska deeply saddens me. This morning, I read that an Alpha Female radio collared wolf was shot down just outside the buffer zone near Toklat. This particular wolf along with her group have been frequently studied, photographed and enjoyed by thousands of tourists. The State of Alaska deems this action legal, having no regard for the pups she leaves behind or how this killing will gravely impact her mate and activities of the surviving pack. This a very serious loss to wolves and people who enjoy them. The hunters and wolf haters of Alaska and their friend, Governor Murkowski have returned to the era where wolves were persued relentlessly and exterminated. In the 1800s, as many as two million wolves were slaughtered. We must stop Alaska quickly before the US Government joins in on the kill. Under this government, the population of wild predators such as grizzly bears and wolves will eventually decline precipitously to near extinction. Predators such as wolves are necessary to maintain a healthy ecosystem. Without them, many animals would go unchecked and die painfully from starvation. Over population of deer has caused many fatal car accidents, all because the wolves have been fired from their natural job. I thank Friends of Animals and everyone who is helping to end the destruction of this magnificent and beautiful animal. A friend of the wolves, Debra Grossman

As Native Americans, my husband and I both have a very special place in our hearts and religion for our Brother and Sister wolves. I believe it is our responsibility as Caretakers of Mother Earth to care for ALL of Her creatures...and to allow Nature to be Nature. We have no business killing these precious friends.

As a child, my father taught me things that I know in my heart are right. He was a hunter, he was a butcher. But he would tell me there are right ways of doing these things; never take more than you need, never cause unnecessary pain and suffering and always honor those which lost their life so that another might live. This is merely simple respect. Is it so unreasonable to think of humans as hunters? After all, we are animals too. I agree with those (such as Nick) who believe in hunting as a means of sustaining themselves. In actuality it is not reality to expect many peoples of Alaska to turn to a vegan diet. The short Alaskan summers do not allow a sufficient growing season to permit crop growth such as that in the lower 48 states. For those who suggest a trip to the grocery store, there are reality checks to be placed here also. I have never been to Alaska but I have been told that two-thirds of the state can only be reached by air, thus making a quick trip to the corner market most difficult. There is also the problem of depending upon grocery stores supporting the practices of factory farming. ... For many, hunting is a need for survivial. Is killing wolves a solution to a sustainance issue? More likely it is a tourism issue and these tourists come to kill for sport -not survival. The type of hunting that is promoting the aerial gunning of wolves is not a matter of sustainance but of sport. Killing should never be a sport. I was raised in Minnesota and as a young girl on a bright, moonlit and snowy New Year's Eve I had the great fortune of briefly meeting a wolf in the wild. The powerful ferocity of this amazing beast made the term "majestic" pale in comparison, although it probably is most appropriate. I would add "mystical" in my own personal description. It is in this place, on this night that my kinship with the wolf was forever realized and burned deeply into my spirit. There are those who will scoff and think me insane but I assure you, I am not. I am a 46-year-old anglo teacher,part-time student and single mother of a 14-year-old boy who feels I have lived before, not as a human, but as a wolf. I have ran with them, hunted with them and loved with them. I know this through the pain and grief I feel whenever I learn of another unnecessary killing of my wolf brothers and sisters. It is so deep that it is as if I have lost my own child. For those who would say that these feelings are made by my own choice, I beg to differ. The torture I feel deep in my soul is a pain I would not wish on anyone (including Gov. Murkowski who, some may say, so richly deserves it). Not so long ago, I was amused at a media coverage about the overpopulation of deer in the midwest and how they were "causing" a great deal of car accidents on highways. Is this so surprising considering that the lower 48 states all but exterminated their natural predator so very long ago? Here I dare to imply some old words of wisdom regarding how history ignored is most likely to be repeated. Through all of the heartache of the wolf slaughter being held in Alaska, I have but two items of comforting knowledge. These comforts are all that is between me and complete, utter madness. The first, and not by any means the least, is that there is a Creator of this world that put ALL creatures here, (I choose to call Him "God" and leave other's stance on this up to their own personal belief) and He loves His creations - ALL of them. Have humans become so arrogant that they do not see a possibility of this Creator turning His anger on us for the disrespect shown to the world and our fellow creatures? I believe that we were intended as guardians of this world, not owners or self-made gods. The final comfort I have is regarding the wolf himself. They have survived the most extreme persecution throughout the world and time. They will most likely continue to do so. We could learn a lot through them if we would just take the time to watch and listen - not only with our eyes and ears but with our hearts and spirits. Yet, I have one last remaining painful question; How much suffering must humans render before this posibility becomes a reality? To the many true and wonderful people of Alaska, I wish you the best. I know that a great many of you are appalled by this action as are so many of us elsewhere. I hope to meet you someday and come to the land where the wolf runs freely. I just cannot find it in me make this journey while the practice of aerial wolf hunting is continuing. It is they who I will seek when I come. In honor of my wolf family and my human family, both living and passed. Be well. I love you all.

We are the top of the food chain. I eat what I kill. I will continue to hunt and take my chilren to hunt untill I can no longer walk. If you don't like what we do in alaska move.

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