The black wolf known as Romeo was illegally shot and killed. The most heartbreaking aspect of this for me was that Romeo was habituated to people. His comfort level around humans played a significant role in his death. The perpetrators used Romeo's vulnerability to slay him; what a cruel and unconscionable act.
It seems fitting to remind Juneauites that there are thousands of black wolves - Romeos - in Alaska. What will their fate be? Will they be poached by being illegally shot from roads? Will they be slain from helicopters by machine guns during predator control programs? Will they be legally trapped and shot as a result of nonexistent bag limits and harvest caps? Will they starve as pups because the adults have been targeted and killed during one day land and shoot forays? Will pups starve because of overextended wolf trapping and hunting seasons?
We all know what happened to Romeo - do we know what will happen to the thousands of other Romeos yet running wild and free in Alaska? I believe it is time for us to collectively care. You can put your caring into action by participating in your local Department of Fish & Game Advisory Committee meetings, of which I am a member. You can also participate in state Board of Game meetings. These meetings provide an opportunity for the public to give input regarding the management of wolves and other wildlife in our state. Be assured that your voice just might make a difference in how wolves, not named Romeo, might live their lives in the wilds of Alaska.