I read the opinion piece by Maureen Hackett, founder and president of Howling for Wolves, espousing the repopulation of Isle Royale wolves using captive wolves like the ones recently rescued from Fur-Ever Wild (FEW) in Minnesota (Local View: "Use captive wolves to repopulate, help Isle Royale," Feb. 21).
This is a horrible idea.
First, these are wolves several generations out from being wild and should be considered domesticated wolves more suited to be pets that have little to no fear response to people and not wild animals. They are completely unsuited for release into the wild.
Second, these wolves have been dependent on people for food for generations and have no skill set for surviving in the wild. Releasing them into unfamiliar territory would be no different than dumping your pet dog into a rural area with nothing but thoughts and prayers for its survival.
Third, most of the FEW wolves in rescue currently have been spayed or neutered, according to protocol, and could not possibly repopulate Isle Royale through reproduction.
Fourth, the domesticated wolves are being properly cared for by competent wolf rescuers and are in no present danger. They receive proper nutrition and veterinary care. Theirs is a far better existence than they would experience being released unassisted into a strange environment.
It would be nothing less than a slow death with no benefit whatsoever to the goal of repopulating Isle Royale with wolves for anything other than the time they are dispersed until they starve.
For these and other reasons, I denounce any plan to release captive held wolves into Isle Royale in the most emphatic terms possible. If Isle Royale is to be repopulated with wolves, they need to be wild wolves with built-in skill sets for surviving on their own. They cannot be "tame" domesticated wolves.