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Friends of Animals Begin New York Howl-in to Protest Predator Control

Alaska Digest / Anchorage Daily News / December 3, 2004

Animal rights activists protesting Alaska's wolf-kill program will take to the streets of downtown New York City today to promote their boycott of Alaska tourism.

Friends of Animals, a Connecticut-based animal advocacy organization, will conduct a "howl-in" at Rockefeller Center from noon to 3 p.m., the organization said in a press release. Volunteers will hand out postcards addressed to Gov. Frank Murkowski and carrying a pledge to boycott Alaska travel until the predator-control effort ends.

"Frank Murkowski has a personal responsibility for each and every wolf killed," said Edita Birnkrant, coordinator of today's protest. "And we'll howl until Murkowski wakes up."

Since last year, the state has enlisted private pilots to shoot wolves in regions where predation is thought to limit moose populations. Biologists believe that reducing wolf and bear numbers for several years will allow moose and caribou herds to grow, creating more opportunities for hunters.

Last year, pilot-gunner teams killed nearly 150 wolves. Plans call for eliminating more than 500 of the animals in five regions this winter, plus 80 grizzly bears in the eastern Interior next spring. So far, four wolves have been taken, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

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