Gallery: Wildlife agency misfiresLoading
  • 7M29MAGGIE.JPG
    Maggie, a border collie-Irish setter mix belonging to the McCurtain family, died when her spine was crushed by a vise-like "body-grip" trap set close to their home in suburban Oregon by Wildlife Services. "Never once did anyone come to us and apologize," Denise McCurtain said. "It was like they pretended it didn't happen."
    McCurtain family
  • 7W30LEGHOLD.JPG
    Three coyotes caught in leg hold traps, at top and foreground, await death in this photo taken by a Wildlife Services trapper in Nevada. The coyote in the foreground is being attacked by the trapper's dogs. Leg-hold traps are used by the agency to capture and kill 10,000 to 12,000 animals a year. Roughly half are coyotes, but more than two dozen other species are also targeted, including black bears, muskrats, mountain lions and wild pigs. Leg-hold traps have been banned in many countries.
  • 7M6WILDLIFE.JPG
    Marin County sheep rancher Bill Jensen installed electric fencing to protect his sheep from coyotes when the county dropped lethal predator protection provided by USDA's Wildlife Services in favor of a local program stressing nonlethal methods. "We've pretty much learned how to control coyotes on our own," Jensen says.
    HECTOR AMEZCUA | hamezcua@sacbee.com
  • 7W6SHEEP.JPG
    Initially skeptical of nonlethal methods, Bill Jensen helped craft the county's program, which reimburses ranchers for fencing, guard dogs and other expenses.
    HECTOR AMEZCUA | hamezcua@sacbee.com
  • 7M6JENSEN.JPG
    Marin County sheep rancher Bill Jensen figures his losses to coyotes fell at least 60 percent when he installed electric fencing at the family ranch.
    HECTOR AMEZCUA | hamezcua@sacbee.com
  • 7M6PLANE.JPG
    This plane used by federal Wildlife Services for aerial attacks on wolves – with 58 paw-print decals indicating the number killed – stirred outrage when published on a conservation blog last year. To many, the decals showed callousness toward wildlife. An agency spokesperson apologized, saying the decals were removed when a manager realized they could offend some people. Aerial hunting is one of Wildlife Services' most popular methods for killing coyotes and wolves. Critics want it curtailed or halted, saying it is expensive, dangerous and often used to kill animals that haven't harmed livestock.
    Wildlife News
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