While we are all hunkered down to endure COVID-19, opponents to wolf restoration in Colorado are resorting to hyperbolic horror stories about hydatid disease in a desperate attempt to dissuade voters from supporting Proposition 107 to return them to the state.
Scat from wolves that showed up in Moffat County recently tested positive for Echinocccus canadensis.
Now, you can either fall for a frenzy of fear mongering, or get straight information on the topic by checking www.cdc.gov, and typing “Echinococcus granulosus” into the search bar. You will learn it is circumpolar and endemic in many species of hoofed animals.
Rarely, people get it from their dogs, without serious harm.
The organism is endemic to North America. Wolf hunters, trappers and researchers have handled many thousands of wolves, and none of them has been infected. Biologists routinely take rectal temperatures of wolves they handle. Not one has contracted hydatid disease.
In the last 90 years, where 70,000 wolves abide, wolves are reported to have killed one man in Manitoba, and a woman in Alaska. None from 1995-2018, while Yellowstone hosted 101,070,722 visitors; not one, including 2.7 million tent campers, was injured or sickened by a wolf.
Wolves, rather than posing a threat to our health, will restore the dynamic processes that are essential to healthy, biodiverse ecosystems.
Among the services they provide is removing sick, old, unfit and injured individuals from wild populations, choosing wild prey over domestic livestock and possibly reducing chronic wasting disease.
Norman BishopBozeman, Montana