A photograph posted online of an Idaho man posing in front of a trapped wolf has created a firestorm of controversy, with reported death threats from both sides.
The picture shows forest employee Josh Bransford showing off a successful trap in Idaho, where wolf trapping is legal.
The wolf appears to be injured; it was reportedly shot by hunters who didn't realize the wolf was ensnared.
Missoula based anti-trapping group Footloose Montana says they received an anonymous death threat after posting the picture on their website.
Footloose founder Anja Heister says she notified local law enforcement and the FBI about the threat.
Heister says her organization is opposed to all sanctioned wildlife trapping on public land, with exceptions made for science and disease control. She says Bransford?s picture exemplifies the attitude of trappers.
"What Josh Bransford has done is nothing out of the ordinary and I would like people to know that,? said Heister. ?It is the general attitude among trappers to view animals as objects."
Missoula trapper Patrick Jensen disagrees.
"A person has to get over the fact that you are containing a wild animal that doesn't want to be contained,? said Jensen. ?But it can be done ethically and humanely to the animal, and with the proper equipment it can. What it goes back to is the trapper's ethics.?
Jensen says he is lobbying Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials to require trappers to take trapping ethics classes.
Jensen says Bransford has also received death threats, including a $1,000 bounty.
FWP officials say they?re currently discussing a proposal that would make wolf trapping legal in Montana. FWP commissioners will decide on any changes to the Montana wolf hunt guidelines in July.