A trophy hunter in Montana killed the most famous and beloved wolf in Yellowstone National Park after “Spitfire” wandered slightly outside of the park. This hunter will now be able to enjoy the thought of killing this beautiful animal that has inspired thousands of visitors. Spitfire was a seven-year-old wolf from the Lamar Canyon Wolf Pack and dubbed the Queen of the Lamar Valley. It is a tragedy that is all too familiar, including our prior discussion of the shooting of one of the last wolves from the most famous pack in Denali National Park in Alaska under similar circumstances.
As in Alaska, legislators in Montana have refused continued pleas for a buffer zone to spot trophy hunters for setting up just outside these parks in the hopes of bagging such animals.
Both her mother and her famed uncle were also killed by hunters. Spitfire was less than five miles from Yellowstone’s northeast entrance.
We have previously followed the controversy over the shooting of “Cecil the Lion” by an American dentist Walter Palmer from Minnesota as well as subsequent controversies of a Idaho hunter taunting animal advocates and killing giant elephants or giraffes for trophies. As many of you know, I am no fan of such trophy hunts. I often hike in remote spots to see bears and other animals in their natural habitat. I cannot understand the joy of killing one of these animals or the challenge of shooting them with a high-powered rifle. I seek out these animals and take pictures with the same ease it would be to kill them. Yet, many feel a tremendous release in killing these animals and posing with their dead bodies.
I cannot understand the resistance to the concept of a simple buffer zone around national parks for such animals, particularly for people who simply want the thrill of such a kill.