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Gray wolf debate surges in the Southwest

Recovery acts instituted by advocates for endangered species rarely face opposition, but the mood is beginning to change in the Southwest United States. Conservationists have been working to re-establish the population of the gray wolf in the Rocky Mountains, but according to locals, they're doing more than lending a helping hand.

Republican Denny Rehberg is the latest member of the House of Representatives to call attention to the recovery efforts, according to the Los Angeles Times. Alongside other politicians, Rehberg is asking advocates to find a way to control the population of gray wolves before the situation blows out of proportion.

Officials say there are only 1,700 gray wolves in the Rocky Mountains, despite the criticism from locals. The number needs to hit 2,000 for a recovery effort to be successful. There have only been three documented attacks from gray wolves in the U.S., according to eNature, and none of them have been fatal. Unless disturbed, these creatures are rarely a threat to humans.

There are currently 615 animals on the endangered or threatened species list in the U.S., according to the Fish and Wildlife Service. Recoveries launched by advocates for endangered species have helped remove a number of animals from the list. 
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