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Society

Animal Rights Group Gets Death Threats For Posting Pics of Hunter With Dead Wolves

| by Michael Allen

In Missoula, Montana, the anti-trapping organization Footloose Montana said it received a threatening email this month after they posted graphic photos on the Internet of a live Idaho wolf caught in a foot-hold trap (pictures below).

On March 22, Anja Heister, executive director of Footloose Montana, posted a series of photos from an online trapping forum called Trapperman.com on her personal and Footloose Montana Facebook sites.

The photos show trapper Josh Bransford, a fire management officer for the Nez Perce National Forest, kneeling and smiling for the camera as a wolf he caught in a foot-hold trap stands behind him in some blood-soaked snow in northern Idaho.

Another photo shows a close-up of the wolf's paw caught in the trap. A third photo shows the trapper posing with his catch.

On Monday, Heister opened Footloose Montana's email inbox and found a death threat directed at family members of the organization: "I would like to donate (sic) a gun to your childs (sic) head to make sure you can watch it die slowly so I can have my picture taken with it's (sic) bleeding dying screaming for mercy body. YOU WILL BE THE TARGET NEXT BITCHES!"

Heister said she reported the threatening email to local and federal law enforcement officials.

Missoula, Montana Police Sgt. Travis Welch confirmed the report of the malicious email and that it was assigned to an investigator, but he declined to comment further.

Bransford did not return calls or emails to the media.

Last May, wolves were removed from the U.S. endangered species list. Idaho has cut its wolf population from 1,000 to about 600 or fewer.

 
Stoking controversy: Animal rights group Footloose Montana says it was targeted because it had criticised and widely circulated this snapshot of a smiling trapper posed with a dying wolf

Helpless: The images circulated by Footloose Montana were taken by the group from hunting website Trapperman.com
 
 
 
Blood-stained: A hunter poses with his kill in another photo posted on Footloose Montana's Facebook page