The wolves are back in Wallowa County and people are panicking. The reactions range from fear that one will swoop in and eat people, to outrage, to conspiracy theories that the government placed them here to drive the ranchers out of business.
It always disturbs me that people will say they don't like wolves because of some value system they expect wolves to somehow have. "They kill for the sake of killing!" "They don't even eat all they kill!" News flash. Wolves are ANIMALS. They don't live by some Biblical or moral code. They just are.
Some genius wrote a letter to the paper saying that he went for a long horseback ride in the wilderness and didn't see a single deer! The reason, of course? Wolves! I wonder if this person ever drives the farm roads here. This is where the deer are--in the hundreds, drawn in by crops and fresh green grass. Why stay up in the wilderness and forage for a living?
I realize that the ranchers have investments, and they fear losing their sheep or cattle. It's hard for a wolf to ignore a tasty, dumb snack. But other states have done it. There are options other than killing every wolf there is, because it might kill a cow. That sends us off into the same playing god realm that I hope we are done with: deciding which animals are "good" and which are "bad".
The wolves are back. I hope we can learn to live with them.