Montana officials ordered its state's hunters to silence their guns in some areas north of Yellowstone National Park, in the wake of a series of wolf shootings just outside of the park's borders.
A wolf known as 832F was found dead Dec. 6 outside of Yellowstone. The wolf was described as a "rock star" due to her popularity among Yellowstone tourists, and wildlife photographer Jimmy Jones even called the animal "the most famous wolf in the world."
832F was one of eight wolves fitted with GPS collars that have been killed in the last month. But data from the collars suggested that the wolves rarely ventured beyond the park and then only for brief periods.
Montana wildlife commissioners decided late Monday to shut down hunting and trapping in areas to the east and west of the town of Gardiner, Mont., just days before the state trapping season was set to begin.
"It seems to be kind of a comprise. Is it political? Yeah, wolves are political," Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission Chairman Bob Ream told the Associated Press.
A spokesman for Wolves of the Rockies told the AP that the closures were a positive step.
"I admire the commissioners' courage to step up to the plate and do the right thing," Marc Cooke told the AP.
Shooting a collared wolf is legal if done within a state's hunting regulations.