Darien, Connecticut — In less than two months, 70 Howl-Ins — protests by local people opposing Alaska’s state-sponsored aerial wolf-killing — have rallied the United States and Canada. From Native Americans to Florida snowbirds, from elementary school students to psychologists: All are telling Alaska’s Governor Murkowski that wolf-killing is a national disgrace, and tourism to Alaska will be boycotted until it ends.
Governor Murkowski’s response to the tens of thousands of people who have mailed Friends of Animals postcards in support of the tourism boycott has been unsatisfactory. Murkowski has mailed promotional Alaska travel literature to those who have joined the boycott, wasting taxpayer’s money.
In the face of this official insensitivity, people from all walks of life are demonstrating strength and determination on behalf of the wolves.
Native Americans have had a strong presence in organizing Howl-Ins from the beginning. Tom Blue Wolf of Earthkeepers in Talking Rock, Georgia states, “Wolves are the epitome of the wild spirit. Many believe that the true test of America’s sincerity about protecting the environment will evolve around whether or not the wolf remains protected and free.”
The Lakota Wolf Preserve in Columbia, New Jersey, the Loki Clan in Conway, New Hampshire, and the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary in Ramah, New Mexico have also sponsored Howl-Ins.
Leyton Cougar of Wild Spirit gave up a normal life to open the preserve after sustaining injuries from a mauling by a wolf-dog hybrid. His grandfather, of the Muscogee tribe, told Cougar to take the injury as ‘medicine’. “We are all spiritual beings; some are doing a wolf walk, others are doing a human walk, we are all the same,” says Cougar.
At a Martin Luther King Day Celebration at Yale, a dance troupe signed postcards, and at a Publix Supermarket in Spring Hill, Florida a group of 12-year olds asked passers-by to help them keep Alaska from killing wolves. During the Superbowl, vegans of Washington, D.C. filled out cards to send to Governor Murkowski.
Next stop: In New Orleans on Sunday, February 15th, people at the Mystic Krewe Dog Parade will spread the word about the machine-gunning of wolves in Alaska.