It isn’t every day that someone asks you, “Can you help save the wolves?”
That’s what a woman standing in front of the Sterling Heights Library asked me the other day. My daughter and I stopped and looked at her. She was wrapped in layers of clothes and had on bright red lipstick. She extended a petition towards us and said, “Please, they’re killing the wolves, and it’s not fair.”
Many Native Americans in Michigan oppose killing wolves, an animal central to their spirituality and culture.
“In the Native American tradition, the wolf is my power animal,” I told the lady and signed the petition.
She stared at me and told me a little about “Keep Michigan Wolves Protected.”
Last December Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill that designated wolves as a game animal. After 50 years of protection, the population of wolves in Michigan is still estimated to be fewer than 700. Michigan farmers, ranchers and other landowners are already permitted to kill wolves to protect livestock or dogs, even though cases of wolves killing livestock are relatively rare. And ranchers are compensated for livestock losses from wolves. There has also never been a single record of a wolf attack on a human in Michigan. In fact, wolves are fearful of people, and avoid them.
Jill Fritz, director of the Keep Michigan Wolves Protected Campaign feels that “This shy and very intelligent species is being gunned down for no other reason than trophies.”
The campaign hopes to gather 225,000 signatures by March 27. To date, they have nearly 200,000.
When we walked away from the woman, my daughter cheered, “Yeah! Mommy saved the wolves!”
“Well,” I explained. “Something like this needs a lot of people’s votes.”
To sign the petition, please visit: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/568/255/382/michigan-keep-wolves-protected/