Appalled by traps


To the Editor,
Why would an issue in Montana cause someone in Lebanon Junction, Kentucky to suffer sleepless nights and a heavy heart? Let me explain
Once I had a wolf in my house. It wasn’t a wild wolf, it was a tame wolf recovering after I splinted a nasty fracture of his forearm, but it was a wolf nonetheless. Though stoic, as many wild animals are, I knew him well, and could tell he was in pain. He was snappy, and trying to stay immobile – and this was after his shattered leg had been splinted. There is nothing about pain and fear that require higher levels of thinking.
I find myself thinking about this wolf often during this, the first trapping season after the reintroduced wolves have been deemed recovered.  I am, quite honestly, appalled that anyone would willingly inflict the kind of pain I saw in that wolf on any creature for any reason.  Of course, a trapped wolf is also frantic, distraught, and desperate as well as in pain. I think. I don’t actually know.
I try very hard to understand the reasoning for leghold traps. I am guessing it is something to do with self-sufficiency values, respect for a way of life and living off the land.  I am a smallholder farmer myself, and have had livestock killed by predators – chickens, goats, geese, turkeys. I don’t like it one bit, so I get that.
So I’m writing a letter to the folk in Montana: I don’t get it, help me understand. Why are you allowing leghold trapping? I’d actually like to hear. I’d really like to get it stopped, but maybe there’s something I don’t know. My email address is
Chris, in Kentucky, who pays attention and cares about wildlife in Montana.
Chris Albert
Lebanon Junction