The public only recently learned that a man intentionally set a leg-hold trap on public land to illegally capture an endangered Mexican wolf in 2015 (“Catron County man pleads guilty to killing Mexican gray wolf,” Albuquerque Journal, May 25). Once captured, still pinned by the trap, the wolf was beaten to death with a shovel by the trapper.

The gruesome manner in which this wolf died is startlingly common and accepted in the fur-trapping trade, and countless other wild animals die every year in nearly the exact same way.

News of the wolf’s death came at the tail end of a brutal New Mexico trapping season. For most species allowed to be trapped, there is no limit to how many can be killed and some can be trapped year-round. The law says practically nothing about permitted killing methods – and because bullets damage valuable pelts, many trappers bludgeon, strangle, suffocate or drown the animals.

Read the Guest Column in the Albuquerque Journal:


Mexican wolf caught in leg-hold trap

A wolf in the Gila National Forest is caught in a leg-hold trap. The wolf had previously lost one front leg to a leg-hold trap. (Source: New Mexico Game And Fish Department)