Another word on wolf compensation
Never send Defenders photos of damage
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
November 30, 2007
Todd Stevie is simply the most current Sublette County, Wyoming livestock producer who has been denied compensation for damages caused by wolves.
The story of the attack on Stevie's mule was detailed here a few days ago. Although USDA Wildlife Services personnel confirmed that the damage to the mule was caused by a wolf or wolves, a full year after the event, Defenders of Wildlife sent Stevie a letter denying his claim.
So what's up with this? Defenders likes to tout how it fully compensates producers for damages. Stevie's experience demonstrates the fallacity of Defenders' statements. Unfortunately, he's not alone.
Defenders was never on the scene, never saw the mule, yet it claims its own experts determined that the damages were consistent with what could have been caused by a barbed-wire fence. This, even though Wildlife Services experts had already examined the ACTUAL ANIMAL and found it had been attacked by a wolf or wolves.
The lesson learned is this - if you're ever in the position of seeking reimbursement from Defenders of Wildlife for wolf predation, never send photos in with your claim. This is what Defenders used to deny Stevie's claim.
Animal damage control experts have even testified in court that photographs don't tell the whole story. Scratch marks on the surface of an animal's hide won't show the depth of the puncture wounds caused by canid teeth, nor the amount of tissue damage caused by biting with powerful jaws. When it comes to wolf damage, it's all below the surface.
So for what it's worth, take this advice: Do not include photographs with an application for wolf predation reimbursement from Defenders of Wildlife.