Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, March 23, 2021


Michael Robinson, (575) 313-7017,

Report: Montana’s Governor Illegally Trapped, Killed Gray Wolf Outside Yellowstone

Gov. Greg Gianforte Given Warning for Violation, Yet Retains Pelt, Skull

BOZEMAN, Mont.— In violation of state regulations, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte trapped and killed a gray wolf on a ranch 10 miles north of Yellowstone National Park in February without first completing a state-required wolf-trapping certification class, according to the Mountain West News Bureau.

The ranch is owned by a media magnate and campaign contributor. Gianforte was allowed to keep the unfortunate wolf’s pelt and skull.

“It’s surprising to learn that it’s even possible to violate Montana’s lax rules for killing wolves,” said Michael Robinson at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The mandatory wolf-trapping class that the governor skipped before setting a trap warns how to avoid public controversy in the course of committing extraordinary cruelty. Gov. Gianforte’s flouting of the whitewashing regulations encapsulates perfectly his government’s brazenly shameless treatment of these ecologically vital animals.”

Gianforte’s violation comes 10 years after Congress passed a rider on a must-pass budget bill that removed wolves in Montana and nearby states from the endangered species list. This move ignored previous court rulings that the long-persecuted animals still required federal protection.

Montana has subsequently increased the numbers of wolves killed within its borders, and Gianforte is expected to support additional wolf-killing bills making their way through the state legislature.

“Wolves are vital to their ecosystems and are cherished by so many Montanans and visitors,” said Robinson. “The slaughter in the northern Rocky Mountains is unjustified and downright sickening, much like the governor’s grotesque behavior.”

In 2017, while running for Congress, Gianforte body-slammed a journalist from The Guardian who had asked him an inconvenient question.

Gray wolf. Photo courtesy of Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife. Image is available for media use.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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