wild wolf in Montana, USA, photo by Ellie Attebery (Flickr CC)

Across the globe it’s once again humans vs. wolves.

This timeless battle has changed its face from hunters and farmers simply shooting wolves in order to protect their livestock and assuage their communities’ fears, whether real or imagined. It’s now a confusing mix of laws, politics and technology.

Wiped out, endangered, protected species… it doesn’t matter. While humans can’t get enough of their domesticated off-shoots (dogs, incase you don’t catch my drift) many still hate and fear wolves.

In the US, where local and national laws often collide confusingly, some wolves in some parts of the State of Washington are protected, while others are not. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife agents recently killed one wolf to protect ranchers’ livestock (which graze on state lands) and are planning on killing another.

From the Seattle Times:

The department has been working to recover wolf populations in the state and manage a balance with ranchers making their living where wolves now live after being hunted to extinction as a breeding species by the 1930s.

If you were already confused about how state laws can protect wolves, but since federal laws don’t always, a state department can kill them, don’t even try to wrap your head around that same agency shooting wolves while “working to recover wolf populations”.

Meanwhile in France, wolves have returned since being absent for nearly 100 years in the southern Auvergne region. Cause for celebration? Not for one shepherd turned environmental activist. He wants them shot.

I guess a shepherd never changes his spots.

This has caused a split within France’s Green movement. Shooting wolves, however, is legal in France if it is done so by government marksmen and licensed (to kill) shepherds.

Over in Switzerland, scientists are working on a collar for sheep that monitors the animals’ heart rate, notifying the shepherds via text message if the rate speeds up for extended periods of time.

Wolf attacks on flocks in Switzerland are on the increase and the collars are designed for shepherds who can’t afford to keep sheep dogs.

Don’t expect to see teenage sheep hanging around “LOLing” while they text their shepherd parents, however.

Read more about that story from the BBC.