It was great to read that the Alaska Zoo's wolves may be used to educate the public ("Training the wild," Aug. 5). I hope that the education program includes the fact that Alaska now has the largest wolf control program since statehood with nearly 700 wolves shot during the past four years. The pups themselves could have suffered the same fate.
I also hope that the public learns that zoo wolves are likely the only ones to see in Southcentral Alaska. Wild wolves are too scarce or too wary as a result of the control programs, combined with heavy hunting and trapping. After driving thousands of miles in Alaska over the past 34 years, the only wild wolves I've seen from the road were in Denali National Park. Even there they are trapped or shot if they leave the park during open season. For those interested in seeing wolves in the wild rather than in zoos, Alaska is a poor choice. Doesn't that seem a little strange?
---- Vic Van Ballenberghe