Target: Mike Styler, Executive Director of Utah Department of Natural Resources
Goal: Press charges against the man who shot and killed Echo, a nationally known and protected gray wolf
A gray wolf was shot and killed by a hunter who thought he was shooting at a coyote. They believe that the wolf may have been Echo, who made news headlines when she became the first of her species to enter the area of the Grand Canyon in 70 years. This young female became the face of the slow and fragile recovery of the gray wolf, which was nearly wiped out after extensive hunting encouraged by widespread stigma.
Gray wolves are of course protected against hunting in the U.S. under the Endangered Species Act, however in Utah, where the incident occurred, it’s legal to shoot coyotes on sight. Due to similarities between wolves and coyotes, they are often be mistaken for one another. However, due to the fragile state of the species, careless killings like this cannot be brushed aside. If hunters must be allowed to shoot coyotes, they need to know that mistaking a gray wolf for a coyote and killing it will carry dire consequences. That way, it will be less likely to happen again.
Sign our petition to urge Utah authorities to charge the man who killed this gray wolf and prosecute him to the full extent of the law. The state of Utah needs to send a strong message to all hunters that even accidental shooting of gray wolves will not be tolerated, so they need to be absolutely sure of their targets. Unless we enforce protection of gray wolves, they could easily fall into serious trouble again.
Dear Director Styler,
Recently, a young female gray wolf was shot and killed by a hunter on Utah lands. This wolf may have been Echo, who is nationally known for being the first of her species sighted in the area of the Grand Canyon after 70 years. Unfortunately, she may now be dead before her time because shooting coyotes on sight is legal in your state, and a hunter mistook her for a coyote.
As you know, gray wolves are protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. They’ve only recently been able to recover due to strict protections. Even if the hunter only shot the wolf by mistake because he thought she was a coyote, it’s important that he face serious consequences for his actions. This will send a message that any hunter needs to be absolutely sure that the animal he’s shooting is not a protected species, and no excuses will be accepted.
Please make sure to punish this hunter to the full extent of the law for the death of this gray wolf. The state of this species is fragile to the point that if we’re not careful, they could find themselves at serious risk of extinction once again. All hunters in gray wolf territory needs to know how important it is to avoid killing any of these animals, and strict enforcement of the law is a huge part of that.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Brooks Tracy via Wikimedia Commons