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Wyoming wolves kill 19 elk in suspected "surplus killing" - KBZK.com | Continuous News | Bozeman, Montana

Wyoming wolves kill 19 elk in suspected "surplus killing"

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JACKSON, Wy. -

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) has confirmed that 19 elk were killed by wolves at a feedground near Bondurant.

"Yesterday morning, we discovered several elk killed by wolves near one of our feedgrounds near Bondurant. We went and investigated it and it turned out to be a total of 19 that we found and documented. There were 19 total -- 17 were calves, two were adult cows," said WGFD Regional Wildlife Supervisor John Lund.

He said they have confirmed that the elk where killed by wolves, COUNTY 10 reports.

"This is a rare event. A lot of people call it surplus killing," said Lund. "It has been observed on other occasions, just not very often. This was one of those events. Several wolves came in over one night and killed 19 elk. Normally one or two elk a night here and there is no big deal, but 19 in one night is fairly rare."

Lund said that he suspects that he knows which pack of wolves killed the elk.

"The one [pack] that has been hitting this feedground as far as we can tell is called the Rim Pack. I think there are nine wolves in that pack," said Lund.

According to Mike Jimenez, the Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, surplus killings are extremely rare for wolves.

"By and large, wolves don't kill for sport," said Jimenez. "We did an eight year study and we looked at elk feedgrounds. What we found is that generally wolves did not kill what they did not eat."

When asked what was going to be done about the wolves, Lund said that the WGFD is in a bind.

"We are kind of in a bind right now because we don't have any management authority over wolves. That is strictly the USFWS that has that authority," said Lund. "We manage the elk on the feedgrounds, but with wolves, we don't have any management authority."

Feature Photo: The source of this photo is not yet confirmed, although we have verified that these are the elk that were killed by wolves near Bondurant.

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