Escalating rancor between hunters and animal rights activists on social media and websites centers on pictures of wolves killed or about to be killed. Many have text celebrating the fact that Western states are allowing more killing of the predators.

Commenting on a Facebook-posted image of two wolves strangled to death by cable snares, an individual who identified himself as Shane Miller wrote last month, “Very nice!! Don’t stop now, you’re just getting started!”

A person going by the name Matthew Brown posted the message, “Nice, one down and a BUNCH to go!” in response to a Facebook image of a single wolf choked to death in a snare.

Stripping the wolves of federal protection last spring opened the animals to state wildlife management, including newly licensed hunting and trapping designed to reduce their numbers from levels the states deemed too high.