Will red ribbons help save wolves and cows?

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by GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @gchittimK5

KING5.com

Posted on May 14, 2013 at 7:42 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 14 at 8:00 PM

NEAR CLE ELUM, Wash. -- If you drive up North Fork Teanaway Road near Cle Elum, you will see miles of red ribbons - 13,000 ribbons flapping the breeze along the side of the road and then off into the pasture and forest lands. DO NOT TOUCH  IT! The ribbons are part of a wolf deterrent project and they are attached to an electrified cable.

Bilogists explain the ribbons ,or fladry as they are called, have been scaring wolves for centuries.

”They have some kind of phobia tied to these flags,” said Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Biologist Anthony Novak. “They just don’t want to cross it.”

And if they do, they get zapped with a painful but harmless dose of electricity.

Volunteers from the Conservation Northwest group are helping WDF&W wrap the fladry around a pasture where cattle will soon be turned out.

It’s hoped it will keep the wolves away long enough for them to follow deer and elk who head for the high country during the hot weather.

It’s just one tool wildlife managers and groups are hoping ranchers adopt as the wolves struggle to repopulate the state.

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