With the Minnesota wolf hunt opening set for Nov. 9, animal rights activists who oppose the season plan to protest at the Timberwolves home opener Wednesday night.
Wolf hunts resumed in Minnesota last year amid controversy after the animal was removed from endangered species status.
Among the groups that object to the hunt is Howling For Wolves, which is organizing the protest at Target Center, where the Minnesota Timberwolves host the Orlando Magic.
In fact, the group has paid $2,000 to be designated as the Timberwolves' "nonprofit of the game." Activists will sit in special sections, and the group's 30-second public service announcement will play in the arena, urging fans to sign a petition to stop the wolf season, the Associated Press reports.
A Timberwolves spokesman said the nonprofit-of-the-game status does not mean the team endorses a group's views.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials say the wolf hunt is a carefully monitored, responsible way to help manage the animal population. Activists say the decision to bring back the hunt was based on politics, not science.
The hunt, in its first year, was ended early after a quota of 400 wolves were killed.
After a Minnesota DNR survey this year revealed a declining wolf population, the agency for this year cut the wolf harvest quota nearly in half, from 400 to 220. The state issued only 3,300 hunting permits for this year, down from 6,000 a year ago.
A pack of experts at a wolf symposium earlier this month got into a heated debate about hunting and trapping of the animal.
More details about another Howling for Wolves protest, set for Nov. 9 in Ely, can be found on the group's Facebook page.