HOWL Colorado

Two men plead guilty to killing critically endangered wolves

[large thumbnail url=”two-men-plead-guilty-to-killing-critically-endangered-wolves” filename=”news” year=”2011″ month=”10″ day=”07″] [thumbnail icon url=”two-men-plead-guilty-to-killing-critically-endangered-wolves” filename=”news” year=”2011″ month=”10″ day=”07″]¬†Two New Mexico residents have pleaded guilty to killing the critically endangered Mexican gray wolves. Both men claimed they believed the wolves were coyotes…

The men faced only federal misdemeanor charges in separate cases for killing the highly endangered wolves.

One of the defendants, 60-year-old Jack Bruton, from Magdalena, N.M., claimed to have mistaken the wolf for a coyote in April 2010. The problem being that he took the GPS color off the wolf and apparently destroyed it.

Bruton only had to pay a $250 fine and just over $4,000 in restitution. Amazingly over half of that was to recover the cost of the collar which was lost. I guess that means that one of only a few dozen of these wolves is worth right about $2,000.

The second man, Ron Rains, also from New Mexico, shot a wolf (again saying he thought it was a coyote) in December of 2010. Rains also paid a $250 fine, and $1,000 in restitutions. Meaning that in 7 months, the value of these wolves must have dropped by 50 percent.

At least the men were caught, charged and convicted. It’s just a shame that the penalty for killing Mexican gray wolves isn’t a little steeper. This doesn’t seem to be much of a deterrent.

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