The wolverine, pictured above, was known by conservationists as M56. The picture is from Jared Hatter’s personal Facebook page, which you can visit here. Jared shot, killed, and then posed with the rare animal so he could brag about it on social media. Until this killing, a wolverine sighting hadn’t been confirmed in North Dakota since the 1800s. Jared claims the wolverine was harassing cattle, thus justifying the murder in the eyes of the state.
Before his premature and needless death, M56 was known around the country for his over-500-mile journey from Wyoming to Colorado in 2009, which was tracked through his radio collar by wildlife authorities. His collar stopped transmitting in 2012, and four years later he was killed by Jared, around 700 miles from his last known location.
American wolverines are critically endangered in the United States. From the Center for Biological Diversity:
Unfortunately, in the contiguous United States, this tough scavenger-predator is barely holding on. Trapping and habitat loss have been dramatically shrinking its populations for more than a century, and now it’s faced with new human threats like snowmobiles tearing through its habitat and, worse, global warming threatening the deep snow it relies on for life activities from traveling to denning and raising kits. . . . Yet the federal government repeatedly refused to protect the wolverine, first denying proof of its peril in the lower 48 states and then declaring that, while the animal may be imperiled here, it doesn’t need to be listed under the Endangered Species Act because wolverine populations in Canada are still stable. Like many other species, from the cactus ferruginous pygmy owl to the Mexican garter snake, the American wolverine has been denied the protection it needs simply because its peers across the border are more widespread.
There has been public outcry against the killing of M56, especially since there are so few American wolverines left, and a sighting in any state is a rare thing. Of course, ranchers and other eco-terrorists have been mocking those who wish to preserve the wilderness that Jared and his kin pretend to treasure. Speaking of treasure, scrolling through Jared’s Facebook wall I found this gem:
To read more about ranchers and their ongoing destruction of North American wilderness, be sure to read “The Dangerous Entitlement of Western Ranchers” in Earth First! Journal Vol. 36, No. 1, Eostar/Spring 2016.