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Young male wolf found dead in Denali National Park, cable snare around neck

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska — The body of a 1-year-old male wolf killed in a trap was recently found within the boundaries of Denali National Park and Preserve.

The death is leading wolf advocates to renew calls for a ban on trapping just outside the park, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner newspaper (http://is.gd/d2ZaFD) reported.

The wolf wore a radio collar, and it was found with a cable snare around its neck south of the Sanctuary River last month. The radio collar may have prevented immediate strangulation and allowed the wolf to escape the trap's anchor, according to park spokeswoman Kris Fister.

Because of that, it wasn't immediately clear if the wolf was trapped illegally inside the national park or legally on state lands bordering the park.

Wolf advocates say this shows the need to reinstate a wolf-protection buffer zone that banned trapping in an area directly outside the park until 2010.

Former University of Alaska Fairbanks environmental conservation biologist, wolf activist Rick Steiner, criticized the U.S. Park Service for not mentioning the wolf's death when the Alaska Board of Game considered an emergency petition to re-establish the buffer zone the day after the wolf's body was found.

The protective-buffer petition was unanimously declined.

Steiner said he doesn't plan to lobby the game board again. He said that would be futile.

"I'm pretty much done with the (Alaska) Board of Game," he said. "They're so ideologically opposed to doing anything."

Instead, he wants to lobby the state to grant an easement to the federal government to restrict trapping around the park. The state could ask for an easement on federal land or seek monetary compensation in return, according to Steiner.


Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com

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