Defenders denies compensation for wolf attack
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
November 26, 2007
In August 2006, a mule was attacked by a wolf or wolves while in a pasture northwest of Pinedale. Bonny, who is owned by Wolf Lake Outfitters, suffered numerous wounds, including having the base of her ears chewed up, gashes to her hocks and life-threatening wounds to her stomach, according to Todd Stevie, had the job of tending to the mule which somehow managed to survive the attack.
“They had her down,” Stevie said of the wolf attack, yet Bonny managed to get back up and escape, hurt but alive.
Federal wildlife officials were quick to confirm that a wolf or wolves was responsible for the damage.
A full year after Stevie submitted a claim to Defenders of Wildlife, seeking compensation for the wolf attack, the environmental group has decided to deny the claim.
Defenders stated that its reason for the denial is that its own experts determined that the mule’s injuries weren’t sustained during a wolf attack, but were consistent with a barbed-wire fence.
Stevie counters that barbed-wire fences have never left wolf tracks in his pasture before.
After the wolf attack, Bonny was placed in a stall so that she could be intensively cared for. After initial veterinary care, the Stevies tended to Bonny’s wounds every day for months.
Bonny survived the wolf attack, but now has limited use. Since she was part of a pack string of riding/packing animals used in an outfitting business, the loss to Wolf Lake Outfitters was felt in the pocketbook.
Stevie doesn’t have any kind words left for Defenders of Wildlife. “They’re worse than the wolves they had introduced,” he said.