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Every night at 8 p.m. I howl for health care workers and other folks providing essential public services. Many neighbors lend their voices to the chorus of support. We are members of a big pack, finding strength and comfort from one another to overcome this difficult time.

For 40 years I have worked to advance wolf conservation, including leading at the outset the restoration effort in Yellowstone Park. I find it noteworthy that as we seek solidarity to rise above the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic we mimic the wolf, a supremely social animal that places cardinal importance on belonging to a family. Our mimicry reminds me of the thousands of years during which our ancestors maintained a sympathetic and intimate relationship with the wolf.

It is fundamentally important that when confronted with a historic pandemic, many of us reach to a time when the wolf was held in high regard as a brother and sister in the travails of life.

That the wolf provides support in our time of need prompts hope that the kindness will be returned when the pandemic subsides. A good start would be terminating Montana’s regulations that allow wolves to be killed in senseless numbers.

Step outside at 8 p.m. for a reminder that as wolf supports us, so too we should support the wolf.

Fairness demands nothing less.

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Mike Phillips