Since 2005, Alberta, Canada’s government has killed 1,360 wolves, mostly shooting them down from helicopters. The aerial shooting caused 84 percent of deaths during that timespan, according to Dave Hervieux, the province’s caribou management specialist. Poisoning by strychnine-tainted meat accounted for the remainder. Because wolves are objectively the fucking coolest furry animals aside from Ewoks, the situation has devolved into quite the controversy, with many environmental organizations arguing that wolves are being scapegoated and murdered for the destructive byproducts of industrial activities. The reason for the ongoing massacre circles back, most predictably, to the province’s encouragement of hyper-accelerated resource development over the last decade.
Unfortunately, such capitalist frivolities have come at the expense of many woodland caribou, especially in the Little Smoky and A La Peche ranges, located in west-central Alberta near Jasper National Park. And the rapid demise of the reindeer relatives—with the Little Smoky range’s caribou population annually declining by between 10 and 20 percent from the late 1990s to mid-2000s.