Few details about the killing have been disclosed, with spokesmen for Wildlife Services, an arm of the USDA, and [the U.S.] Fish and Wildlife Service [Dept of Interior], which oversees the wolf recovery project, saying that the case is under investigation.
However, a brief statement from Wildlife Services indicates the employee asserted the killing was a case of mistaken identity.
The employee, described as a specialist, was investigating a possible wolf depredation of livestock in January when the incident occurred, wrote Carol Bannerman, a Maryland-based spokeswoman for Wildlife Services. “While on-site he lethally removed a canine, which was then identified as possibly a Mexican wolf.”Let's get this straight: he's looking into a possible wolf depredation in Mexican wolf territory and then he shoots and kills a wild canid? Oops!
Either this person is not a wildlife specialist or s/he's lying to avoid prosecution (mistaken identity is the most common excuse and gets these folks off the hook all too often).
Either USDA Wildlife Services hires and retains wanton killers or, well, we'll be monkeys' uncles.
In any case, there's one less wild wolf on the ground in New Mexico, U.S. Fish and Wildlife has been covering it up, and Wildlife Services' hired guns (and traps) have once again harmed native wildlife.
An old endorsement of Wildlife Services from Laura Schneburger, head of the Gila Livestock Growers Association, "We support Wildlife Services officers completely and have never had any problems with their professional demeanor." Exactly. Real professional-like, in a profession of killers.
And, worth noting, according to the interdiction team notes posted online, the federal agent to call in New Mexico for suspected wolf depredations is Bill Nelson, 575-533-6252. Bill Nelson (same phone number) also runs a hunting guide service out of Reserve, New Mexico. He's the "wolf damage specialist" with the primary area of New Mexico. Seems like a Catron County hunting guide and Wildlife Services agent would definitely know a wolf from a coyote, so it probably wasn't him.