The small town of Reserve, New Mexico has placed a handful of wooden and mesh “kid cages” at school bus stops throughout the rural area due to recent sightings of Mexican gray wolves.
The wolves seemingly have parents worried for the safety of their children, but critics of the “kid cages” are sniffing out an ulterior motive.
Back in 1995, the wolves were reintroduced to the region, and it’s highly possible they will become illegal to kill in the near future.
Experts have been quick to point out the animals rarely attack people, and note there hasn’t been a single documented wolf attack in either New Mexico or Arizona.
“There’s been absolutely zero, nada, zilch attacks on humans by wolves in the Southwest, so I think these cages are a reaction to a non-problem,” Eva Sargent, director of Southwest programs for Defenders of Wildlife told Fox News.
“For some people, it’s a political ploy to bring attention to other things. A lot of the fear stirred up by these kid cages, at the base of it, is an anti-government fear and the wolves are standing in for that.”
Daniel MacNulty, a wolf researcher who’s been station in Yellowstone National Park for 18 years, believes the cages are “a publicity stunt designed to stroke opposition to Mexican wolf recovery in general and to the federal government in particular.”
After the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a plan to renew the protection of wolf populations, photos of the kid cages began to surface via conservative groups.
The Mexican gray wolf is one of the most endangered wolf populations in the world, and only an estimated 75 of these animals exist in the Southwest.
Despite the number of gray wolves left in the United States, ranchers continue to persecute the endangered animals to protect their livestock.
It’s time to end the charade and work towards a hopeful future for the Mexican gray wolf. Despite the fact that approximately 69 percent of New Mexicans support the reintroduction of Mexican wolves after five decades of extinction in the wild, the wolves are in threat of a second extermination from the Southwest.
— Anthony Armentano, exclusive to Global Animal