Join 3,440 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Gray Wolf Killed in W. Mass.
March 4, 2008 2:07 PM   Subscribe

Tests reveal that an animal killed in Western Massachusetts was a gray wolf. The species has not been seen in the state for 160 years.
posted by VicNebulous (52 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
MASS EXTINCTION IS A LIE! PROOF!
posted by absalom at 2:12 PM on March 4, 2008


I wonder how that wolf managed to survive for 160 years. That's one old wolf, man.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:15 PM on March 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


it's all a lie. it was the first chupacabra sighting in amherst, 's all.
posted by CitizenD at 2:18 PM on March 4, 2008


Wow that's pretty interesting and not that far from where I live. Funny that the last one they found in the US was in Maine and this one is all the way down in Mass, eating sheep apparently. I like the quote from the VT Natural Resources lady "Wolves always make us eat our words, wild wolves particularly."
posted by jessamyn at 2:19 PM on March 4, 2008


In the mid-late 1800's in Southern Indiana, not far from my family's homestead, at a waterfall known to have been used as a campsite and sacred site for Native Americans a white settler (not a relation, thank god) came upon a lone, old Native American man. All Indians had been long since expelled from the state by that point so the settler did what was natural, he shot him dead on the spot without asking questions.
posted by Pollomacho at 2:25 PM on March 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


no more bob-bob-bobbin' on the Quab-Quab-Quabbin for him.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 2:35 PM on March 4, 2008


Between this and the Cougars spotted east of the Mississippi and giant spiders found in the arctic, I'm never heading outside again.
posted by drezdn at 2:38 PM on March 4, 2008


It's more than a little sad that the first one in 160 years was immediately killed.
posted by wilful at 2:38 PM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Does anyone know how a gray wolf is speciated from canis domesticus? Because hey, it could just be a nth-generation stray.
posted by infinitewindow at 2:42 PM on March 4, 2008


.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 2:42 PM on March 4, 2008


Actually infinitewidow, the current classification puts domestic dogs as Canis lupus familiaris, a subspecies of wolf, Canis lupus, so I guess all things are possible.
posted by Jimbob at 2:48 PM on March 4, 2008


That is damn cool. Not the killing of the wolf part, of course, but that wolves may be re-populating New England.

Look out, deer! (also: small pets, sheep, etc.)
posted by rtha at 2:54 PM on March 4, 2008


It's more than a little sad that the first one in 160 years was immediately killed.

It's also hope. But I wonder with the general, larger number of extinctions going on, that this is just whistling past the graveyard.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:54 PM on March 4, 2008


.
posted by tzikeh at 3:09 PM on March 4, 2008


There is a gray wolf breeder near where I live. A number of people in town, including a friend, have wolves and wolf-mixes as pets. After a few generations being properly socialized, they are pretty much just cosmetically different from other dogs. They will howl though, and very rarely bark.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 3:47 PM on March 4, 2008


Does anyone know how a gray wolf is speciated from canis domesticus?
The precaudal gland would be a tip-off.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:00 PM on March 4, 2008


This is kind of misleading and unimportant... It may be the first seen in W. Mass. in 160 years, sure but gray wolves aren't extinct, not by far.
posted by patr1ck at 4:00 PM on March 4, 2008


Eponysterical, Wolfdog! Thanks!
posted by infinitewindow at 4:11 PM on March 4, 2008


I see your wolf, and raise you two servals.
posted by Tube at 5:07 PM on March 4, 2008


I see your servals, and raise you a bunch of catamounts.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:26 PM on March 4, 2008


more proof that western ma. is cooler then greater boston.
posted by genmonster at 5:29 PM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow that's pretty interesting and not that far from where I live.

In the wise and noble words of A-ha, Jessamyn, "Cry wolf (ooh-oooh) try not to worry.

Morten Harket shall save you with his impressive cheek bones.

(Wolves are cool, but I find them a bit more scary than bears. Neither of which would I like to bump into, however, when taking the rubbish out at night. But still cool that nature is fighting back and expanding again)
posted by Brockles at 5:30 PM on March 4, 2008


It's more than a little sad that the first one in 160 years was immediately killed.


It wasn't exactly knocking politely on the farmer's door asking for tea and cake. That stated, it'd be nicer to call animal control and to capture it alive, but I'm guessing the farmer who shot it didn't pause before pulling the trigger and exclaim, "Hot dog, thats a rare eastern gray wolf that hasn't been seen in these parts for nearly two centuries!" BLAM.
posted by Atreides at 5:34 PM on March 4, 2008


kind of cool
posted by caddis at 5:46 PM on March 4, 2008


There have been reports of them being sighted in the Adirondacks as well, but the DEC insists that they are coyotes.
posted by a3matrix at 5:58 PM on March 4, 2008


See, I told you all 'The Day After Tomorrow' could totally happen! It's just like in the movie.
posted by Bugg at 6:07 PM on March 4, 2008


I live in a rural area adjacent to Fall River, MA. There's a family of canines that are bold enough to walk thru fields behind my house. They are either very, very large coyotes or a or a dog, wolf, coyote hybrid. Happily, they have never been a threat to livestock or pets so there,s no hugh a cry to kill them.
posted by lemuel at 6:08 PM on March 4, 2008


See, I told you all 'The Day After Tomorrow' could totally happen!

We're going to be attacked by CGI ponies that have had amateurishly-drawn wolf heads clumsily attached to their bodies?

They were still better than that whateveritwas in 300.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:19 PM on March 4, 2008


First Wolverine in California in 30 Years
posted by homunculus at 8:03 PM on March 4, 2008


my parents had a bear shaking their bird feeder outside their kitchen windows.
that's a first. they're almost downtown in Northampton, Ma.
posted by Busithoth at 10:54 PM on March 4, 2008


There have been reports of them being sighted in the Adirondacks as well, but the DEC insists that they are coyotes.

I remember when the authorities were insisting there were no coyotes in the Northeast.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:05 AM on March 5, 2008


A few years ago I nearly hit a coyote on the Mass Turnpike between I-84 and 291 -- in the middle of the day on a summer Saturday. There are tons of them in PA where I live, and even more up in New Hampshire where my dad lives.
posted by VicNebulous at 6:07 AM on March 5, 2008


I think I'm going to be sick.

To think that such a beautiful animal, one that should NEVER have been pushed to the brink of extinction, might be struggling to come back, and that it was killed? Really pushes my buttons. My husband's family is from MA and I hope someday that we will see a resurgence of wolves there. Gorgeous animals.
posted by agregoli at 6:46 AM on March 5, 2008


A few years ago I nearly hit a coyote on the Mass Turnpike between I-84 and 291 ...

A few years ago, I was driving late at night on a road in Lexington, MA, and startled a coyote cub, maybe eight or ten months old. It ran down the middle of the street ahead of me for over a quarter mile before turning off into the weeds.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:18 AM on March 5, 2008


I think I'm going to be sick.

To think that such a beautiful animal, one that should NEVER have been pushed to the brink of extinction, might be struggling to come back, and that it was killed? Really pushes my buttons...


Well, the guy who shot it certainly didn't realize exactly what it was -- all he knew was that "it" was killing his livestock. So he did what anyone would do -- he protected his interest and his livelihood. Shame that it had to be a gray wolf, but it was.
posted by VicNebulous at 8:50 AM on March 5, 2008


my parents had a bear shaking their bird feeder outside their kitchen windows.
that's a first. they're almost downtown in Northampton, Ma.


Actually, that's very common around here ... the woods of Western MA, I was told by a biologist a few years ago after a bear and her cubs starting poking around MY Northampton backyard, boast the highest concentration of black bears in the country.

I am so stoked wolves are coming back, but it'll be no end of people complaining about them like they do the bears.
posted by Camofrog at 8:55 AM on March 5, 2008


Well, the guy who shot it certainly didn't realize exactly what it was -- all he knew was that "it" was killing his livestock. So he did what anyone would do -- he protected his interest and his livelihood. Shame that it had to be a gray wolf, but it was.

Honestly, that really doesn't change how I feel. He would have shot it even if he knew it was a gray wolf. And that still upsets me.
posted by agregoli at 9:24 AM on March 5, 2008


Under Massachusetts law, he would have been allowed to shoot it even if it were his neighbor's pet dog. Molesting livestock carries the death penalty here for canines.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:58 AM on March 5, 2008


It's the neighbor's fault if his dog is terrorizing livestock. It's not any natural animal's fault that we've set up camp in their normal territories and hunting grounds.
posted by agregoli at 12:28 PM on March 5, 2008


Well technically, we're just as natural an animal as the wolf. We're just more dominant about establishing our habitat. Don't get me wrong, it saddens me to think about the creatures that have been wiped out by human encroachment, but whenever any two species compete for territory, there'll be losers. Though, no one has been raising the alarm over the spread of armadillos in America. C'mon people, they're armored digging beasts!


Its also rather presumptuous to claim the farmer would have shot the wolf, even if he knew of its rare status in the region.
posted by Atreides at 1:44 PM on March 5, 2008


You think he wouldn't have? Com'on. I think we're all smart enough to know that it's extremely likely he would have anyway.

Our human population and encroachment into natural habitats and the habitats we build for ourselves are decidedly not natural.
posted by agregoli at 2:23 PM on March 5, 2008


You think he wouldn't have?

That's not the point. You assumed that, without question, he would have. That's very presumptuous, but then perhaps no-one is as noble as you?

I think we're all smart enough to know that it's extremely likely he would have anyway.

So benefit of the doubt is for stupid people? Or only stupid people would believe him if he turned out to be a Wolf activist and is really upset at shooting what he initially thought was an extremely common coyote?

Or that all intelligent people really know that all farmers kill indiscriminately and have no respect for wild animals.

Your attitude sucks. You made a presumption. At least concede that, rather than imply you are right through some inference that only dumb people wouldn't see things like you do.
posted by Brockles at 2:40 PM on March 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think we're all smart enough to know not to lump farmers into a collective of reactive killing machines.

The farmer was actually told to shoot the wolf, because it was thought to be a wild dog.

After 13 sheep and lambs were killed and partially eaten on a Shelburne farm one day last October, biologists from the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife visited the farm. They concluded that a domestic dog had probably attacked the flock, on grounds that a wolf would have eaten the entire carcasses and that the tracks did not appear to be those of a wolf. The biologists told the farmer he had the legal right to kill any animal attacking his flock, and it was killed the next day. -Boston Globe
posted by Atreides at 2:44 PM on March 5, 2008


So the farmer had people visit his farm to get an idea of what it was to find out if he coudl kill it, then?

Oh, he was clearly going to shoot it anyway. Not, of course, that he could have just done precisely that in the first place and buried the thing and no-one would have been any the wiser, nor known it was a wolf...
posted by Brockles at 3:11 PM on March 5, 2008


Not sure, actually. It could be that for the farmer to get insurance on the lost livestock, he has to call in the Fish and Wildlife people, or he would have just shot and buried it. Or likewise, he genuinely wanted to know what was doing it before he took any action.

Since he hasn't spoken out on the matter, its hard to say.
posted by Atreides at 3:29 PM on March 5, 2008


Amid all this clamor about whether the farmer would have or should have shot the wolf, the article actually states that the farmer himself DID NOT kill the wolf. Someone else, whose name was withheld, did the actual shooting after the biologists had visited.

Anyway, I'm still sad about the dead wolf... and sadder still that the Bush administration has de-listed gray wolves as an endangered species.
posted by OolooKitty at 3:30 PM on March 5, 2008


Our human population and encroachment into natural habitats and the habitats we build for ourselves are decidedly not natural.

Of course it is. It's stupid and shortsighted and destructive, but it's still natural - for us. Brown-headed cowbirds parasitize the nests of other birds - some of those birds are endangered. The cowbird finds a nest - say, a Bell's vireo nest - kicks most of the vireo's eggs out, and lays its own. Then it flies away. The vireo then incubates the eggs and raises the cowbird chicks (which are much larger than vireos, and require an incredible effort to feed). It's awful, but it's natural. Our tendency to pave over anything green and to make rivers do what we want is no less awful, and is our demonstration of our skills at adaptation and survival.
posted by rtha at 4:15 PM on March 5, 2008


It's not any natural animal's fault that we've set up camp in their normal territories and hunting grounds.

I don't want to derail into the argument about whether selective breeding is the same as genetic engineering, but dogs are 'natural' animals, too. The fact that there are packs of feral dogs that act like wolf packs says dogs are not as unnatural as is implied in that quote. Their instincts and hunting behaviors haven't been bred out of them.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:32 AM on March 6, 2008


You know, this is exactly why I don't like to participate in Metafilter much these days. People are so. fucking. rude. It's ridiculous.

If you don't have the class to make your points without over the top attempts to humilate and denegrate other users on here, I don't have any interest in continuing a conversation with you. THAT attitude fucking sucks.
posted by agregoli at 10:21 AM on March 6, 2008


You're the one that implied people must be stupid to not see things the same way as you. That is far more rude than my reply.

Or can you not see that inference in your post (seriously).
posted by Brockles at 10:44 AM on March 6, 2008


If you don't have the class to make your points without over the top attempts to humilate and denegrate other users on here, I don't have any interest in continuing a conversation with you. THAT attitude fucking sucks.

I'm seriously failing to see where the over the top attempts to humiliate and degenerate (?) occurred. I don't see it in mine (where I just parroted your (agregoli) line of reasoning), I don't see it in Brockles' post, which was a pretty fair call out, and don't see it in rtha's either.

Though, always a chance a Mod deleted a comment or something. There are six hours between the last comment and the...well...attitude evaluation?
posted by Atreides at 6:43 PM on March 6, 2008


"denegrate" was used properly. Accurately? I'm not going there.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:54 AM on March 7, 2008


« Older Eliza Skinner is well known in New York improv com...  |  Marvel vs. the BMI... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments