Feb 28

MT: Ranchers say Madison Valley wolves getting bold

Ranchers say Madison Valley wolves getting bold

By the Associated Press

CAMERON – Some ranchers say the wolves in the Madison Valley have grown increasingly brazen and are apparently unafraid of people.

State wildlife officials say such behavior is to be expected, given the federal protection the predators have had in the decade since being reintroduced in the Yellowstone National Park.

Jack Atcheson Jr. said he was spooked on a recent hunting trip, when three men and three mules got within 47 yards of a wolf that was staring right at them. The Butte hunting outfitter, who books international trips, said he had never seen wolves in Alaska, Asia or other places act so boldly around people.

It was approaching us with the wind right in its face – we were standing around the animals, but he was focused on us, Atcheson, 55, said. He was not afraid at all.

The wolf finally stopped when one of Atcheson’s hunting partners chambered a rifle, while Atcheson snapped a photo. Even then, the wolf merely lay down and stared at the hunters before eventually walking away.

Sunny Smith, manager of the CB Ranch near the Madison Range, said the wolves are just like domestic dogs.

And with calving season just weeks away, that lack of fear has ranchers worried about the prospect of the wolves attacking livestock.

Barb Durham, a rancher whose herding dog was killed by wolves in 2004, said if ranchers had had more leeway to shoot wolves when they were hanging around ranches that year, federal officials might have needed to kill only a couple wolves instead of eliminating the whole pack.

Wolves have already wandered around their bulls this year, although none of them attacked, she said.

They have no fear and that’s been our contention all along, Durham said. We don’t hate wolves; we just want them to be a natural, wild predator and to be afraid of humans.

If you don’t let us educate them, then there’s always going to be conflicts.

Wolves in Montana remain protected under the Endangered Species Act, but their recovery has led the federal government to turn management of the animals over to the state.

State officials said stories such as Atcheson’s are a major concern.

It’s totally inappropriate for wolves to be that close, said Carolyn Sime, wolf coordinator for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

But she added that it’s not that surprising. Wolves in Alaska have been hunted, trapped and harassed for years. And if they spot a human, they immediately run away.

Montana wolves, however, have been protected under federal law for years. Most of them have never been shot at or harassed, and none of them have been hunted.

Sime said elk in the valley pastures are also attracting wolves to the area, and thus closer to homes and livestock.

If you look at where wolves are setting up, it’s not in the backcountry, it’s in the valley bottoms and foothills where people live and raise livestock and where ungulates spend winter, she said.

Sime reminds ranchers that with state oversight of the wolves, they have more flexibility to kill or harass wolves that are causing problems. It doesn’t allow wolves to be killed on sight, but ranchers don’t need a special permit to shoot a wolf that’s about to attack livestock.

She said officials hope people take more aggressive action when a wolf is acting brazenly. In Atcheson’s incident, he could have fired a rifle shot over the wolf’s head to scare it.

If wolves have uncomfortable experiences around people and livestock, that would be a good thing, she said. By harassing them now, we may prevent problems later.

Source

Posted in Uncategorized
Feb 28

MT: Alpha female wolf found dead southeast of Libby

Alpha female wolf found dead southeast of Libby

KALISPELL An adult female wolf was found dead near the railroad tracks southeast of Libby, and state wildlife officials believe the wolf was struck by a train.

A B-N-S-F Railway worker found the dead wolf on February 21st, and reported it to state wildlife officials the next morning.The wolf’s carcass will be sent to the wildlife lab in Bozeman to confirm the cause of death.The four-year-old wolf was the alpha, or lead, female of the Wolf Prairie pack.The pack consists of about eight wolves that range in the Wolf Creek and Little Wolf Creek drainages.Biologists say that with the loss of the alpha female, it is unlikely that the Wolf Prairie Pack will produce pups this spring. Wolves breed in February.

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Feb 27

NC: Navy says Site C not absolute

Navy says Site C not absolute

Defense budget unfortunate at best

By NIKIE MAYO, News Editor

CHERRY POINT MARINE CORPS AIR STATION The budget line item that names Site C as the next outlying landing field is unfortunate at best Rear Admiral David Anderson said Monday.

The line item NOLF Washington County appears in the U.S. Department of Defenses budgetary request that went to Congress earlier this month. The Defense Department requested just over $10 million to go toward a proposed OLF to be situated on the border of Washington and Beaufort counties.

Basically, … that was verbiage that was put there in error. … Its unfortunate at best, Anderson told reporters gathered for a Navy-called press conference at Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station in Havelock. Anderson said he wanted to reiterate that a decision has not been made about the site of the proposed OLF.

Today is … about backing away from emotion, Anderson said. This is part of an ongoing process … to find a site in the best interest of the Navys needs and the communities that support us so well.

And the Navy believes military-termed Site C is the best option, he said. Leaders said that decision does take into account the migratory waterfowl population and endangered red wolves and the nearby Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge.

The tundra swans, snow geese and other waterfowl can be managed by putting in habitat controls, said Dan Cecchini, the Navys lead biologist for the OLF project. He said the Navy had studied military operations in similar areas and believes removing some crops that attract the birds would lessen the potential for problems.

Cecchini characterized the red wolves, which were introduced in this area in 1986, as a nonessential, experimental population. Once the red wolves are off a federal refuge, they are not afforded the same level of protection, he said. Cecchini said the Navy is consulting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for recommendations on how to handle the red wolves and that he anticipates a favorable outcome. He called the notion that Navy representatives have trapped some red wolves absolutely false.

The bottom line is that we believe we can safely coexist with this refuge and that this refuge can safely coexist with us for the foreseeable future, Cecchini said.

Anderson said the OLF is necessary primarily for training purposes.

This is much more than a noise-mitigation issue, he said.

He disputed the notion that the proposed OLF is slated for northeastern North Carolina because people in Virginia have more pull.

This is not important to the people of Virginia; this is important to … national security, he said. We dont send carriers out to support the people of Virginia.

We … have not had the capacity to prepare the pilots to deploy, he said.

Site C would provide pilots from Cherry Point and Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia a dark environment for practicing without a lot of constraints. He said a new field without encroachment would allow pilots to be better prepared in combat, something that doesnt happen every time you throw in an artificiality.

The Navy owns 2,700 acres in Washington County and needs 300 more to complete its core area which includes the OLF landing strip, Anderson said. The draft follow-up impact study released Friday indicates the Navys core area is only 2,000 acres in size.

Anderson said the Navy is obviously very disappointed about the anti-Site C sentiment that has been expressed by residents and leaders, including Gov. Mike Easley.

Were not closing the dialogue, Anderson said.

Residents respond to Navys plans

Say Navy ripping the heart out of a region

By DAN PARSONS, Staff Writer

CHERRY POINT MARINE CORPS AIR STATION  Backing away from emotional issues is the best way to proceed in the debate over the Navys proposed outlying landing field, Rear Admiral David Anderson said in a press conference Monday.

I realize that this is very much an emotional issue, Anderson said at the press conference.  The only way to come to a wise decision is to continue the dialogue.

But members of North Carolinians Opposed to the Outlying Landing Field disagree with that approach. For them, the possibility of having a jet-fighter landing field in their backyards is inherently emotional.

Emotion is embroiled in this because thats what happens when you rip the heart out of a region and take it off life support, NO-OLF Chairwoman Jennifer Alligood said outside Cherry Point after the press conference Monday.

Alligood and others gathered in the parking lot in front of the main entrance to the base to await media after the Navys press conference. Both gatherings were held to discuss the draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement released Friday in which the Navy again named Site C in Washington and Beaufort counties as its preferred OLF location.

The emotion is there when you see the injustice being done,  OLF opponent Kathleen Taylor said.

In response to the release of the SEIS, Gov. Mike Easley sent a letter to the states U.S. Congressional Delegation Friday, asking for a halt in funding for the OLF project. NO-OLF representatives at Cherry Point said they had turned out in full recognition and support of Easleys plea.

I am writing to express my frustration and disappointment with the Navys decision to again identify Washington County as its preferred site for the proposed outlying landing field, Easley wrote. I believe this matter can be resolved. … Congress controls the purse strings for this project and Congress should withhold funding until the Navy is willing to consider reasonable alternatives.

Both Taylor and Alligood said that they were encouraged by the governors response.

We are here to tell the state that we support our governor, Alligood said. We have been looking for strong leadership and this is the beginning of a process that shows that North Carolina will not be cowed by the dictates of its military.

Literature distributed outside the base says NO-OLF has always been for the state of North Carolina and the Navy to partner in identifying a reasonable solution for an OLF that will benefit both our state and our military.

OLF opponent Frances Armstrong thinks that the Navys proposal is detrimental not only to the state and its people, but to its wildlife. Site C is in close proximity to the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, wintering grounds for tens of thousands of snow geese and tundra swans.

Here you have a wildlife refuge established specifically for the protection of waterfowl and the Navy wants to institute a management plan that will eradicate all of the birds, Armstrong said.

Source

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Feb 27

IL: No gray areas: Wolves still rare in Illinois

No gray areas: Wolves still rare in Illinois

Sightings are likely single animals that have broken off from packs in other states.

By Mike Wiser

ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR

ROCKFORD  Officially, Illinois is wolf-free. Semi-officially, you might  maybe, if you’re really, really lucky  spot one around these parts.

Gray wolf populations have steadily risen since the passage of the 1973 Endangered Species Act which protects wolves in all states with some exceptions in Alaska, Minnesota and Wisconsin, where they are most plentiful.

They number well into the hundreds in Wisconsin, but so far there haven’t been any recorded living in Illinois since the 1800s.

Unless, of course, you count that one shot in Marshall County, just north of Peoria, in December 2002. Or that one that likely traveled this way before it was shot in October 1999 in Grundy County, Mo. Or that one that was killed by traffic about a year ago in Lake County, Ill.

“Are there wolves in Illinois? Yes,” said Richard Benning, youth educator and naturalist at Severson Dells Nature Center southwest of Rockford, who hosted a 90-minute talk on gray wolves Sunday for a standing-room-only crowd of about 50 people.

“Are there wolf packs? No. Not that we know of,” Benning said.

A pack is defined as a reproducing male and female. And so far, the wolves that have turned up in this state in the past 100 years or so have been single animals. The theory is that these animals were wolves that broke off from an existing pack to start their own pack.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, whose biologists have tracked wolf populations since 1979 using radio telemetry, snow track surveys, and collection of reports of wolf observations, gray wolves have come back strong in the past 20 years.

In the first years of the study, wolves numbered in the mid-to-high 20s. As of last year, biologists estimate there are 425 to 455 wolves in 108 packs and 14 loners in Wisconsin. Although most of the wolves are in the state’s northern areas, some have been spotted as far south as Waukesha County.

So what if wolves make a comeback in Illinois? Or what if you’re camping in Wisconsin, Minnesota or the Upper Peninsula of Michigan? Is there a reason to be alarmed?

No, Benning said.

‘There’s never been a case of a healthy wolf killing a human being, although there is one incident in the Saskatchewan Province of Canada that is under review and might change that,’ he said. A person has a better chance of getting struck by lightning than being attacked by a wolf, he said.

‘They run away from humans. … Biologists will go into wolf dens and take the pups and the mother will just whimper,’ Benning said.

Instead, if there are wolves in the area, don’t fret. Go outside and listen intently. You might be in for a treat, like the one Rockfordian Steven Kreitlow got when he heard a wolf howl while camping with a friend in the 1970s at Isle Royal National Park.

‘It is beautiful and it raises the hair on the back of your neck,’ said Kreitlow, who attended the lecture Sunday. ‘It was like a symphony. There were six of them going at different times. … It was beautiful and eerie at the same time.’

On the Web

For more information about wolves and wolves in the Midwest, try these sites:

www.wolf.org  This is the homepage of the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minn., whose mission is to advance the survival of wolf populations through education and study.

www.fws.gov/endangered/esa.html  This is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services starting point for information on the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

www.dnr.wi.gov  Home page for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, where you can link to their work on tracking wolf populations.

www.nwf.org  Home page of the National Wildlife Federation that has links to information about wolves and other animals.

Source

Posted in Uncategorized
Feb 26

MT: Federal protection has led to wolves unafraid of people

Federal protection has led to wolves unafraid of people

By The Associated Press

CAMERON, Mont. (AP) — Some ranchers say the wolves in the Madison Valley have grown increasingly brazen and are apparently unafraid of people.

State wildlife officials say such behavior is to be expected, given the federal protection the predators have had in the decade since being reintroduced in the Yellowstone National Park.

Jack Atcheson Jr. said he was spooked on a recent hunting trip, when three men and three mules got within 47 yards of a wolf that was staring right at them. The Butte hunting outfitter, who books international trips, said he had never seen wolves in Alaska, Asia or other places act so boldly around people.

“It was approaching us with the wind right in its face — we were standing around the animals, but he was focused on us,” Atcheson, 55, said. “He was not afraid at all.”

The wolf finally stopped when one of Atcheson’s hunting partners chambered a rifle, while Atcheson snapped a photo. Even then, the wolf merely lay down and stared at the hunters before eventually walking away.

Sunny Smith, manager of the CB Ranch near the Madison Range, said the wolves are “just like domestic dogs.”

And with calving season just weeks away, that lack of fear has ranchers worried about the prospect of the wolves attacking livestock.

Barb Durham, a rancher whose herding dog was killed by wolves in 2004, said if ranchers had had more leeway to shoot wolves when they were hanging around ranches that year, federal officials might have needed to kill only a couple wolves instead of eliminating the whole pack.

Wolves have already wandered around their bulls this year, although none of them attacked, she said.

“They have no fear and that’s been our contention all along,” Durham said. “We don’t hate wolves; we just want them to be a natural, wild predator and to be afraid of humans.

“If you don’t let us educate them, then there’s always going to be conflicts.”

Wolves in Montana remain protected under the Endangered Species Act, but their recovery has led the federal government to turn management of the animals over to the state.

State officials said stories such as Atcheson’s are a major concern.

“It’s totally inappropriate for wolves to be that close,” said Carolyn Sime, wolf coordinator for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

But she added that it’s not that surprising. Wolves in Alaska have been hunted, trapped and harassed for years. And if they spot a human, they immediately run away.

Montana wolves, however, have been protected under federal law for years. Most of them have never been shot at or harassed, and none of them have been hunted.

Sime said elk in the valley pastures are also attracting wolves to the area, and thus closer to homes and livestock.

“If you look at where wolves are setting up, it’s not in the backcountry, it’s in the valley bottoms and foothills where people live and raise livestock and where ungulates spend winter,” she said.

Sime reminds ranchers that with state oversight of the wolves, they have more flexibility to kill or harass wolves that are causing problems. It doesn’t allow wolves to be killed on sight, but ranchers don’t need a special permit to shoot a wolf that’s about to attack livestock.

She said officials hope people take more aggressive action when a wolf is acting brazenly. In Atcheson’s incident, he could have fired a rifle shot over the wolf’s head to scare it.

“If wolves have uncomfortable experiences around people and livestock, that would be a good thing,” she said. “By harassing them now, we may prevent problems later.”

Source

Posted in Uncategorized
Feb 26

CO: Rocky Mountain Nat’l Park: An ecosystem wanting wolves

Rocky Mountain Nat’l Park: An ecosystem wanting wolves

JOSHUA ZAFFOS

ESTES PARK – Elk graze on neighborhood lawns, golf course greens and the grass around city hall in this gateway town to Rocky Mountain National Park. The burgeoning herd browsing through Estes Park is a popular tourist attraction, but it’s also a sign of an ecosystem out of whack.

About 3,000 elk roam the national park and the Estes Valley. In the absence of native predators, they devour willows and aspens inside the park, and hundreds of them head down-valley to chow on lawns in town. As a result, the National Park Service may limit the elk population, and some are promoting the reintroduction of wolves to restore the ecosystem.

The park is “mandated to look at the natural processes, which (in this case) is wolves,” says Park Service spokeswoman Kyle Patterson. Wolves could reduce elk numbers, she says, and keep the herd mobile; ultimately, they could re-establish the park’s predator base.

But before Canis lupus returns to Colorado, supporters will have to placate the state wildlife managers in charge of surrounding lands, who fear wolves will wander outside the park and create more problems than they solve.

Wolves could stabilize ecosystem

Settlers hunted elk out of existence in this valley over 100 years ago – even before they wiped out the area’s grizzlies and wolves. The animals made their return in 1913, when locals pushed state wildlife managers to transplant 49 elk from Yellowstone; two years later, Congress created Rocky Mountain National Park, which became a refuge for the elk.

With no predators chomping at its heels, however, the park’s elk herd grew ungainly, forcing wildlife managers to kill them to control the population. But in 1968, the Park Service stopped culling elk in response to public opposition, and let nature run its course. The elk population exploded, wreaking havoc on the park environment and altering the vegetation of meadows and winter range.

This summer, after 10 years of studies, the Park Service released four management options for the park’s elk. The draft alternatives describe a combination of controversial measures, including contraceptive injections, culling, and the re-establishment of wolves.

“The reason why the park put that alternative (of wolf reintroduction) on there is because science has unequivocally shown in Yellowstone and recently Banff (in Canada) that wolves help keep ecosystems healthy,” says Gary Wockner, a wildlife ecologist at Colorado State University. In those parks, the predators’ return means that elk no longer loiter along rivers and streams, where ambushes are more likely. This helps native vegetation recover and with it, species such as beavers and songbirds.

Park Service wildlife veterinarian Margaret Wild says wolves could also purge chronic wasting disease from the elk herd by killing weakened, diseased animals. While the theory has not been tested on infected herds, Wild says computer models show that wolves can reduce and perhaps eliminate the disease in elk and deer. “It really makes a lot of sense, if you think about it,” says Wild. “I think we can take the experiment in steps,” tracking the proposed four-pack of wolves to see if they’re killing infected animals.

Do four wolves constitute reintroduction?

Wockner and others see the wolves’ return to Rocky Mountain as a battle within the larger war to recover the species in Colorado and the Southern Rockies. Gray wolves haven’t officially resided in Colorado since the 1930s, though in June 2004, a lone female that had wandered down from Yellowstone was run over on Interstate 70 west of Denver.

The state of Colorado hasn’t bought into this idea, however. Based on the recommendations of the Wolf Management Working Group – a panel of ranchers, local officials, hunters and environmentalists – Colorado supports wolf recovery only if it occurs through natural migration. Rick Spowart, the district manager for the Colorado Division of Wildlife, says studies show reintroduced wolves will wander outside the park, trading one human-wildlife conflict for another.

The Park Service, meanwhile, is taking a very cautious approach. The reintroduction option would relocate four wolves to the national park. To prevent the pack from reproducing, the two males would be sterilized. The alternative also calls for shooting enough elk to reduce the herd to between 1,200 and 2,100 animals.

Patterson of the Park Service says that the agency is writing a management plan for elk and vegetation, not wolves. She adds that people can’t compare Rocky Mountain’s plans for curbing elk with Yellowstone’s successful wolf reintroduction because Yellowstone is nine times larger, surrounded by more public lands, and offers better habitat.

“(The plan) doesn’t count toward (wolf) reintroduction in any way, shape or form,” says Rob Edward of Sinapu, a Boulder-based predator-advocacy organization. “The Park Service needs to be able to make decisions based on the ecological health of the land, not the political whims of the day.”

Edward, who along with Wockner represents wolf supporters on the working group, acknowledges that a combination of roads, livestock and shotgun-toting locals makes real wolf reintroduction in the Southern Rockies unlikely in the foreseeable future.

The small-scale reintroduction in the park could ease political opposition to an eventual larger presence of wolves in Colorado, however. Several polls show that 60 to 70 percent of Coloradans support wolf reintroduction. The national environmental organization Defenders of Wildlife has already said it will compensate the state’s ranchers for livestock killed by reintroduced wolves.

The Park Service plans to release a draft environmental impact statement in March 2006.

Source

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Feb 26

MT: Wolves too bold for some

Wolves too bold for some

CAMERON Wolves in the Madison Valley are a little too bold, for the comfort of some people in that part of Montana.

Hunting outfitter Jack Atcheson Junior of Butte says a wolf got within 47 yards of three men and three mules, on a recently hunting trip. Atcheson says the wolf showed no fear as it approached. Sunny Smith of the C-B Ranch near the Madison Range likens the wolves to domestic dogs.As calving season approaches, the lack of fear worries some ranchers, concerned about the safety of livestock.Carolyn Sime is the wolf coordinator for the state wildlife agency. She says ranchers are not permitted to kill wolves on sight, but they don’t need a permit to shoot one that’s about to attack livestock. Sime also says wolves that are too bold may be inhibited by gunshots fired without intending to hit the animal.

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Feb 25

PA: Suspected wolf penned, game officials report

Suspected wolf penned, game officials report

BY MARCUS SCHNECK
For The Patriot-News

The Pennsylvania Game Commission yesterday located the second suspected wolf or wolf-hybrid that had been spotted earlier this week in Straban Twp., Adams County.

It has been contained by its owner, according to the agency, which refused to identify the individual.

“We are not giving that information out as the investigation continues,” said Jerry Feaser, commission press secretary.

The other animal — a male weighing about 120 pounds — was shot Sunday by an individual who felt the two animals were exhibiting aggressive behavior.

Information provided by a confidential informant led the agency to the second suspected wolf or wolf-hybrid and the owner.

Wildlife Conservation Officer Darren David is continuing with an investigation.

Feaser also declined to reveal whether the owner of the two animals was licensed to have wolves or wolf-hybrids.

He said genetic testing to determine if the dead animal is a wolf or wolf-hybrid will begin Monday.

“We are going to have the carcass examined and tested to verify whether this is a pure-bred wolf or some hybrid,” David said. “However, given public concern about the second animal’s whereabouts, we wanted to let the public know that the animal has been contained.”

According to David, the first wolf was shot Sunday by an individual, who then contacted the commission’s Southcentral Region Office and turned the carcass over to the agency.

Also, he said, on Feb. 16, a pet collie was attacked in the area and received repeated bite wounds, which would indicate an attack by another canine. The dog died at a veterinarian’s office from its injuries.

The Adams County incident is not the first time an illegally released wolf has been found in the wilds of Pennsylvania.

In 1999 and 2003, individuals killed wolves or wolf-hybrids in the Allegheny National Forest and Susquehanna County.

Those animals had been surgically neutered, indicating they had been in captivity.

Also, in 2004, two Pennsylvanians, one in Chambersburg and another in Philadelphia, plead guilty to illegally possessing wolves or wolf-hybrids.

According to Mike Dubaich, director of the commission’s Bureau of Law Enforcement director, there are 35 licensed facilities permitted to either possess, breed and/or sell wolves and wolf-hybrids in Pennsylvania.

Following decades of bounties, the last known Pennsylvania wolf is believed to have been killed in the 1890s.

The nearest state or province to Pennsylvania with a wild sustainable gray or timber wolf population are Michigan, and Ontario and Quebec, Canada.

A small red wolf population is known to exist in North Carolina.

While the federal government has conducted wolf reintroduction programs in several Western states, there has been no such proposal for Pennsylvania.

“Game Commission policy requires proposed species reintroductions to be appropriate and feasible,” said Calvin W. DuBrock, director of the commission’s Bureau of Wildlife Management.

“We believe that any reintroduction program involving wolves or other large predators would be impractical and inappropriate given the population distribution and density of people in our state.

“We do not believe that there are any areas remote enough in our state where large predators could be reintroduced without setting up a conflict situation for people or other wildlife valued by people.”

Source

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Feb 25

PA: Wolf tale might have teeth

Wolf tale might have teeth

By MEG BERNHARDT

Evening Sun Reporter

It may turn out to be the story of the boy who cried “wolf,” but state game officials still aren’t sure if it was actually a pair of wolves on the loose in Adams County.

A Straban Township resident shot a large canine Sunday and contacted the state Game Commission. The resident turned over the carcass and photographs of the pair after killing the animal.

The animal was allegedly behaving aggressively when it was shot by the resident. Also, a pet collie died after being attacked in the area Feb. 18 – most likely by a canine.

Game Commission officials say the slain animal was male and weighed about 120 pounds. It was not neutered or collared. The other canine has been located and contained, said spokesman Jerry Feaser

Officials originally suspected the animals were wolves that were illegally released or escaped from captivity, Feaser said. It is now suspected the animals are gray or timber wolves, or wolf-hybrids. The carcass is being tested to see what type of canine it is.

“The determination as to whether this animal is a wolf, wolf-hybrid or some other type of canine continues,” Feaser said.

When the carcass was turned in, Game Commission officials were concerned the remaining animal was dangerous and sent out a press release Thursday asking for information.

But an anonymous informant Friday led officials to find that the remaining canine had been contained by its owner.

Feaser would not release where the owner’s property is located, but confirmed the remaining canine was contained.

He said an investigation continues to determine if the animals were being kept lawfully.

The Game Commission has jurisdiction on exotic wildlife and the Department of Agriculture has regulations which govern domesticated dogs.

Under state law, exotic animals include bears, coyotes, lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, cheetahs, cougars, wolves and any crossbreed of these animals which have similar characteristics in appearance or features. The definition is applicable whether or not the birds or animals were bred or reared in captivity.

There are 35 licensed facilities in Pennsylvania that are permitted to either possess, breed, or sell wolves and wolf-hybrids. Part of their permit requires they comply with township, caging, public safety and record-keeping requirements.

Feaser declined to say whether the owner is one of those 35.

Source

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Feb 25

PA: Lone wolf ‘contained by owner’

Lone wolf ‘contained by owner’

By B.J. SMALL – Times Editor and Outdoor Writer

A wolf that had been running free east of Gettysburg for a week or longer, was contained by its owner Friday.

A press release by the Pennsylvania Game Commission Friday afternoon said a confidential informant earlier in the day helped wildlife officials to locate the second of two animals suspected to be a wolf or wolf-hybrid and that the animal has been contained by its owner.

The encounters began last Sunday, when one of two wolves spotted in the Swift Run Road, New Chester Road, Sibert Road region north of Route 30, between Gettysburg and New Oxford, was shot and killed. The carcass was turned over to the Pa. Game Commission for testing.

The other wolf disappeared.

Wildlife management officials believed the animals may have been released in this area illegally, or escaped from captivity.

They had urged caution for anyone who might come in contact with the surviving wolf.

Game Commission Wildlife Conservation Officer Darren David received reports that a pet collie had been attacked and bitten by another canine, possibly a wolf, on Feb. 16. The collie subsequently died of its injuries.

The dead wolf was a 120-pound male and was not neutered or collared, WCO David said.

The carcass is expected at Game Commission headquarters in Harrisburg early next week.

The amount of wolf bred into the animal could help frame potential charges the owner might face.

Our wildife veterinarian, Walt Cottrell, will examine (the wolf) and weve contacted the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to check their protocol, Game Commission spokesman Jerry Feaser said. Feaser said Cottrell will take samples to Penn State and test to determine whether the wolf was purebred or a hybrid.

Feaser said discovery of gray or timber wolves, or wolf-hybirds, occur because somebody owned it and it escaped or they got tired of it. We have strict ownership rules (in Pa.) to protect livestock and the health of other animals.

According to the Game Commission, 35 facilities are licensed to possess, breed and/or sell wolves and wolf-hybrids in Pennsylvania. Other states have fewer restrictions and less oversight on the sale or possession of exotic wildlife, including wolves and wolf-hybrids.

Source

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