Decide if this man is brave or foolhardy after watching him free a wolf from a steel trap using nothing but his hands and a snare pole.
The footage, posted to Twitter Jan. 23, shows the individual calmly approaching the trapped gray wolf. After a few attempted swipes and bites by the canine, the man uses a snare pole (not a “stick” as the Twitter post implies) to pin the wolf with one hand as he release-springs the trap with the other.
This video raises as many questions as it does anything else, however. Why did this man have a tripod set up to film himself releasing a wolf from a trap? And if the trap wasn’t meant for wolves, what was it meant for? The most likely answer is coyotes, which prove a constant nuisance to everyone from ranchers to hunters. We can only hope this man didn’t set all this up himself to film the video. Stranger and more morbid things have happened.
Regardless of intent, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how incredibly dangerous this is, and to never attempt removing a trapped animal if you are not a trained professional. Now for the video:
Over 1.7 million people have watched this steely encounter so far. And again, regardless of the lead-up to the wolf’s release, this is absolutely an impressive feat. As a wildlife tech and animal behaviorist myself, this is undoubtedly one of the slickest single-man maneuvers I’ve ever witnessed.
Wolf Reintroduction Continues to Polarize America
While we don’t have an exact location on this video, it most likely hails from one of the U.S. states where wolves are increasing in numbers. As of 2022, states with active and breeding wolf packs or roaming individuals include:
|U.S. States with Breeding Wolf Packs||U.S. States with Roaming Individuals|
Currently, U.S. wildlife agencies estimate around 18,000 gray wolves (Canis lupus) exist in American territories. Interestingly, two-thirds of that 18,000 call Alaska home. According to the numbers and scenery, this footage most likely hails from Alaska. But it could also come from the American Mid-West or western states in which wolves are making a remarkable comeback.
While this is excellent for the environment, as Yellowstone National Park’s wolf reintroduction illustrates, it can be wildly detrimental to ranchers and farmers. Recently, a prominent Colorado rancher has found himself in the middle of this “war.”
For more on that, be sure to see our Rancher Has Spent Thousands, Continues to Lose Cattle as Wolves are Reintroduced to Colorado coverage next.