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Display of Captured Wolf in Wyoming Bar Sparks Outrage

Captured Wolf in Wyoming
Images via depositphotos.

A recent incident involving a live wolf in a Wyoming bar has ignited global outrage and prompted calls for changes to state wildlife laws. This article delves into the event, the reactions it has sparked, and the broader implications for wolf management in Wyoming.

The Shocking Incident at a Wyoming Bar

Welcome to Wyoming state sign on highway upon entering state border of Wyoming. Image via depositphotos.

In late February, a video surfaced showing a live, muzzled wolf lying on the floor of a bar in Daniel, Wyoming. The footage captured the animal, appearing injured and submissive, being handled by a man named Cody Roberts, sparking widespread condemnation.

Who is Cody Roberts?

Cody Roberts in an image from a video in which he brought a live wolf into a bar in Daniel, Wyo., in February 2024. screenshot by NPR.

Cody Roberts, a local rancher from a long-established family in Daniel, is at the center of the controversy. Known in his community, Roberts is facing severe backlash for his actions with the wolf.

How Did the Wolf End Up in the Bar?

Captured wolf via depositphotos.

Reports suggest that Roberts initially ran over the wolf with a snowmobile, a legal action if the animal dies. However, the wolf survived and was later shot by Roberts after being taken to the bar.

red wolf
Red wolf. United States Fishing and Wildlife Service (USFWS), CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Roberts was fined $250 for the illegal possession of a live wolf. The incident has raised questions about the adequacy of current wildlife protection laws in Wyoming.

Global Reaction to the Incident

red wolf
Brandon Trentler from USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The incident went viral in April, attracting global outrage. People from around the world have condemned Roberts’ actions, resulting in death threats and calls for stricter wildlife laws in Wyoming.

Impact on Local Community

A majestic wolf behind the mesh in Cedar Cove Feline Conservation & Education Center in Kansas

The small community of Daniel has faced significant backlash, with local businesses and residents receiving negative reviews and threats from outsiders. The event has cast a shadow over the town, known for its tight-knit community.

How Are Local Authorities Responding?

Wolf. Image via Depositphotos.

The Sublette County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the incident further to determine if additional legal actions against Roberts are warranted. This includes looking into the numerous death threats resulting from the incident.

Wildlife Advocacy and Public Outcry

gray wolf
Portrait of grey wolf in the forest. Image via Depositphotos

Wildlife advocates have seized on the incident to push for changes in Wyoming’s wolf management laws. A motorcycle brigade protest and fundraising efforts have highlighted the call for reform.

What Are the Current Wolf Laws in Wyoming?

Black wolf with a black background. Wolf Image via Depositphotos.

Wyoming allows year-round hunting of wolves without a license in most parts of the state. However, wolves are protected near Yellowstone National Park, where they draw significant tourism.

What Changes Are Being Proposed?

Portrait of arctic wolf isolated on black background. Polar wolf. Wolf Image via Depositphotos.

State lawmakers are forming a committee to review and potentially amend the treatment of predatory animals in Wyoming. Any changes would likely be debated in the next legislative session.

Historical Context of Wolf Management in Wyoming

wolfs hunt in packs
Wolfs hunts in packs. Image via Mariofan13, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone in 1995 and have since become a contentious issue in Wyoming. The state’s current laws represent a compromise between wildlife protection and livestock industry interests.

Impact on Wyoming’s Tourism and Reputation

Image of wolf by Steve via Pexels

The incident has negatively affected Wyoming’s reputation, especially concerning wildlife tourism. The state’s tourism office and local businesses are grappling with the fallout from the global backlash.

What Are the Broader Implications for Wolf Conservation?

Red Wolf
Red Wolf. By John and Karen Hollingsworth – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Public Domain,

The controversy underscores the ongoing tension between wildlife conservation and livestock protection in the western United States. It highlights the need for balanced policies that consider both ecological and economic factors.

How Are Other States Handling Similar Issues?

mexican gray wolf
Image by neilld via Depositphotos

Other states with wolf populations, like Montana and Idaho, have also faced challenges in balancing wolf conservation with livestock interests. These states are closely watching the developments in Wyoming for potential policy insights.

Community Reactions and Local Sentiment

gray wolf
Gray wolf. Mariofan13, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Locals in Daniel are divided over the incident. Some defend Roberts as a good person who made a mistake, while others believe his actions were out of line and have brought unnecessary scrutiny to the town.

Future of Wolf Management in Wyoming

silhouette of wolf
Image by Ray Hennessy via Unsplash

The ongoing investigations and public debate may lead to significant changes in how wolves are managed in Wyoming. Advocacy groups hope to see stricter regulations and better protection for wolves in the future.


Gray Wolf
Gray Wolf. By Malene Thyssen – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

1. Why did Cody Roberts bring a live wolf into the bar?

gray wolf
The Gray Wolf, being a keystone predator, is an integral component of the ecosystems to which it typically belongs. USFWS Endangered Species, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Roberts reportedly ran over the wolf with a snowmobile and later brought it into the bar before shooting it, which sparked widespread outrage.

American Grey wolf. Image by Adriaan Greyling on Pexels.

Roberts was fined $250 for illegally possessing a live wolf. Additional investigations are ongoing to determine if further actions are warranted.

3. How has the community of Daniel reacted to the incident?

wolf pup
Image by Havranka via Depositphotos

The community has experienced significant backlash, with negative reviews and threats from outsiders. Opinions within the town are divided on the incident.

4. What impact has the incident had on Wyoming’s tourism?

A red wolf. Image by Cavan via Depositphotos

The incident has damaged Wyoming’s reputation, especially in terms of wildlife tourism, leading to a decline in positive perceptions of the state.

5. Are there proposed changes to Wyoming’s wolf management laws?

Image of wolf by Steve via Pexels

Yes, state lawmakers are considering amendments to the treatment of predatory animals, which will be discussed in the next legislative session.

6. How are wildlife advocacy groups responding to the incident?

gray wolf
Gray Wolf (Canis lupus). Image via Depositphotos

Advocacy groups are pushing for stricter wildlife laws and have organized protests and fundraising efforts to highlight the need for reform.

7. What is the status of the investigations into the incident?

Wolf. Image via Depositphotos.

Investigations by local authorities and wildlife agencies are ongoing, focusing on both the incident itself and the resulting death threats.

8. How are other states managing similar wildlife issues?

Beautiful wolf (canis lupus) in winter, in snowy landscape. Image via Depositphotos.

Other states like Montana and Idaho face similar challenges and are monitoring Wyoming’s situation for potential lessons in policy adjustments.

9. What role does tourism play in the controversy?

portrait of a gray wolf on the background of the forest. Image via depositophotos

Tourism, particularly wildlife tourism, is a significant factor, with the incident potentially deterring visitors interested in Wyoming’s natural attractions.

10. What are the broader implications for wildlife conservation?

Portrait of a cute male wolf (Canis lupus signatus). Image via Depositphotos.

The incident highlights the need for balanced wildlife management policies that address both conservation and the economic interests of local communities.

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