Dec 31

Animal killed with bow in Winnebago County may be a gray wolf

Animal killed with bow in Winnebago County may be a gray wolf

By Doug Zellmer

of The Northwestern

An animal shot and killed with a bow and arrow Saturday morning in Winnebago County have have been a gray wolf.

A preliminary examination of the animal that included photographs and measurements “is pretty consistent” with it being a wolf, said Jason Higgins, a conservation warden for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

However, Higgins said a necropsy, similar to an autopsy, will be conducted by the DNR’s wildlife health services in Madison.

“The animal’s appearance is consistent with it being a wolf, but we’re not 100 percent sure at this time,” Higgins said. “With the necropsy, they’ll take better measurements to see if it has the consistency as a wolf and they’ll also do genetic testing and possibly DNA testing.”

He said the person who killed the animal initially thought it was a coyote.

“When he walked up to the animal after it was shot he realized it was too big to be a coyote and then he reported it to the (Winnebago) sheriff’s department and they contacted us (the DNR),” Higgins said. “I would say the animal weighed 90 to 100 pounds and it appeared to be healthy.”

Higgins said if further tests reveal the animal is a wolf, the person who shot it could face a civil citation. He said wolves were de-listed from the federal list of threatened and endangered species on March 12, 2007, so no criminal charges would be forthcoming.

Higgins said the minimum fine for shooting and killing a wolf is $306.30 and the maximum is $2,155.50. In addition to the fine, Higgins said, a court can revoke the person’s hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for up to three years.

“We want to make sure it is a wolf before there is a charge,” he said.

The Wisconsin gray wolf population in late winter 2007 was 540 to 577 wolves in 138 packs and 17 loners, according to information from the DNR.

Read more about the possibility the animal killed was a gray wolf in Tuesday’s Northwestern.

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Dec 30

WY: State agency unveils wolf proposal

State agency unveils wolf proposal

By The Associated Press

JACKSON – Draft regulations proposed by the Wyoming Department of Game and Fish would allow ranchers to kill gray wolves that prey on livestock, while wildlife managers could kill wolves that try to take elk on state feed grounds.

The draft regulations announced Friday don’t mention establishing a sport hunting season for wolves in the state. Eric Keszler, a spokesman for the game department, said officials plan to set hunting seasons in the spring.

“This is just like the first step,” Keszler said. “We’ll do a series of season-setting meetings, and the public will have input through that whole process.”

The proposed regulations would apply only to the northwest corner of the state, where wolves would be considered trophy game animals under the state’s management plan. In the rest of the state, wolves would be classified as predators that could be shot on sight.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission approved the wolf management plan for the state in November. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service formally approved the plan Dec. 15.

The Fish and Wildlife Service is working to remove wolves in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho from protections under the federal Threatened and Endangered Species Act, a move that would turn responsibility for wolf management over to the states. Federal officials have said they intend to take the step in March 2008, although threatened lawsuits could delay the process.

Under the proposed Wyoming Game and Fish regulations, livestock owners could get a state permit to kill wolves if they have repeatedly “harassed, injured, maimed or killed livestock or domesticated animals.”

The regulations also would allow the state to kill wolves that cause “unacceptable impacts” or wolf-elk conflicts on state-operated feed grounds.

The draft regulations specify that the state game department will use “aggressive management techniques,” including aerial hunting and hazing, to protect private property including livestock and domesticated animals within the trophy game area.

Livestock owners who lose animals to wolves could acquire a permit that allows them to kill wolves until the end of the calendar year. State and federal officers would also be authorized to kill the offending wolves.

The draft regulations would require livestock owners who kill wolves to submit the entire carcass to a district game warden within 72 hours for hair and tissue samples.

Keszler said implementing the regulations hinges on removing federal protections for wolves this winter.

“We think it’s likely that Fish and Wildlife will issue a delisting rule,” Keszler said. “We also think it’s likely that there will be a number of lawsuits. Where those lawsuits go is anybody’s guess.”

Conservation groups charge that Wyoming officials are determined to kill wolves until they reach the minimum population in the state, defined as seven breeding pairs outside of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department will accept public comment on the proposed wolf regulations through Feb. 14, 2008.

The game department also plans a series of meetings about the proposed regulations. All the meetings are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Here are the dates and locations:

• Jan. 21 Green River, Green River Game and Fish Regional Office.

• Jan. 21 Laramie, Laramie Game and Fish Regional Office.

• Jan. 22 Lander, Lander Community Center, 950 Buena Vista.

• Jan. 22 Pinedale, Pinedale Library.

• Jan. 23 Jackson, Antler Hotel.

• Jan. 23 Sheridan, Sheridan Game and Fish Regional Office.

• Jan. 24 Casper, Casper Game and Fish Regional Office.

• Jan. 24 Cody, Bighorn Federal Savings & Loan.

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Dec 30

WY: Wildlife group gets new leader

Wildlife group gets new leader

By JEFF GEARINO
Southwest Wyoming bureau

GREEN RIVER — Walt Gasson was retired all of one day before he got the call.

The longtime Wyoming Game and Fish Department employee retired from the agency after 31 years on Dec. 3. The next day, he was named the new executive director of the Wyoming Wildlife Federation.

After a yearlong search, the state’s oldest and largest sportsmen’s conservation organization chose the 53-year-old Game and Fish career employee to help revitalize and direct the Cheyenne-based organization.

“It was a fairly short-lived retirement,” Gasson said. “But I’m so excited about this … It’s unseemly for a man my age to be as excited as I am about this.”

Founded in 1937 by hunters and anglers, the nonprofit group is composed of a variety of state residents who seek to conserve wildlife and wildlife habitat.

The federation touts itself as the largest statewide sportsmen and conservation organization with a membership of about 5,500 hunters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts.

The group’s membership has waned in recent years from peak levels in the late 1990s, due in part to the group’s endorsement of Wyoming’s controversial wolf management plan, Gasson said in a phone interview.

“We have seen membership plateau out, and that’s just unacceptable in the 21st century in Wyoming … and that’s one of the things I’m really going to focus on,” he said.

“Our resident membership needs to increase, and we need to be more active,” Gasson said.

He said the federation plans a series of meetings in 10 communities across Wyoming over the next few months to discuss wildlife issues with members and nonmembers.

“It’s my perception that this organization, like lots of organizations, is most effective when it’s strong at the local level, and that’s one reason why I want to do these meetings across the state,” Gasson said.

“We need to be out front on these wildlife issues,” he said. “I hope the federation gets larger, I hope we get stronger, and I hope we’re a meaningful force in land-use decisions, especially public land-use decisions, and I hope we’re working in partnership with more people.”

Canary in the mine

Gasson comes brings a load of wildlife management experience to the job.

He is a Green River native and a 1976 graduate of the University of Wyoming.

During his 31 years with the Game and Fish Department, he worked as a habitat unit manager, a wildlife biologist, staff biologist, planning coordinator and special assistant to the office of the director.

Gasson was one of the primary authors of Wyoming’s comprehensive wildlife strategy and most recently was in charge of an agency program to train future leaders for Game and Fish.

He has also been a partner in a private consulting firm that specializes in natural resources issues.

Gasson said access to public lands and energy development in Wyoming will continue to be “premier issues” for the federation under his leadership.

“Access to public lands is going to be a huge issue for us always, I think,” he said. “And I think things like instream flows — especially if the ongoing drought and climate change continues to have an impact on Wyoming — will be a huge issue on the table.”

A few years ago, the Wyoming Wildlife Federation split with the National Wildlife Federation on the state’s adoption of a dual listing classification for Wyoming’s wolf management plan.

“We saw the bottom line as being … getting wolves delisted, and if it took dual status to get wolves delisted, then so be it,” he said. “We saw delisting as the goal and didn’t see the necessity in getting hung up on the details of how we get there.”

Gasson said the federation will work to avoid the possible listing of the sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act.

“We’re absolutely going to be involved in every place we can possibly be involved in … on that one,” he said. “Sage grouse is the canary in the mine for a whole list of sagebrush critters in Wyoming.”

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Dec 29

Wyoming drafts wolf hunting regulations

Wyoming drafts wolf hunting regulations

By Cory Hatch

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department released draft regulations for hunting gray wolves that would allow ranchers to kill the animals for livestock conflicts, and wildlife managers to kill them for elk conflicts on state feed grounds.

The draft regulations contain no mention of a sport hunting season.

The regulations would apply only to a trophy game area in the northwest corner of the state. In the rest of the state, wolves would be considered predators and could be killed by any means without a license.

Livestock owners could acquire a lethal take permit if gray wolves have “repeatedly (twice or more) harassed, injured, maimed or killed livestock or domesticated animals,” according to the draft.

Further, the regulations would allow the state to lethally remove wolves that cause “unacceptable impacts” or wolf-elk conflicts on state-operated feed grounds.

Though not addressed in the regulations, Wyoming Game and Fish Department spokesman Eric Keszler said officials would likely set hunting seasons in the spring. “This is just like the first step,” he said. “We’ll do a series of season-setting meetings and the public will have input through that whole process.”

The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission approved a wolf plan for the state Nov. 16. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service formally approved the plan Dec. 15. In official comments on the plan, about 75 percent of Wyoming residents, and 90 percent of total respondents, said they opposed it.

The draft regulations also outline how the state could use lethal control to kill wolves. “The Department shall utilize aggressive management techniques including, but not limited to aerial hunting and hazing to protect private property including livestock and domesticated animals within the [trophy game area],” the draft states.

Livestock owners who experience “chronic wolf predation” could acquire a permit that allows them to kill wolves until the end of the calendar year. When the permit is issued, USDA Wildlife Services and the state would also be authorized to lethally remove the animals.

If a livestock owner took a wolf, he or she would have to submit the entire carcass to a district game warden within 72 hours so Game and Fish could take hair and tissue samples, according to the draft.

Keszler said the regulations would depend upon delisting this winter. “We think it’s likely that Fish and Wildlife will issue a delisting rule,” he said. “We also think it’s likely that there will be a number of lawsuits. Where those lawsuits go is anybody’s guess.”

Conservation groups say Wyoming officials are determined to kill wolves until they reach the minimum population in the state, defined as seven breeding pairs outside of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.

Federal officials expect to remove gray wolves from protection under the Endangered Species Act in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, in March 2008.

Last May, Governor Dave Freudenthal and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service compromised on the wolf management plan, opening the way for the state to join Idaho and Montana in removing gray wolf from Endangered Species Act protection.

In the compromise with the federal government, Freudenthal accepted a larger trophy game area in the northwest corner of the state.

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Dec 29

CO: Wolf spotted in RMNP

Wolf spotted in RMNP

Report is credible, biologist contends

BY DOUGLAS CROWL

Loveland Connection

A wolf could be living in, or at least visiting, Rocky Mountain National Park, according to a biologist who investigated a sighting there earlier this month.

On Dec. 4, experienced park volunteers saw a black canine emerge from the trees at Moraine Park, lift its leg to urinate and then dart away once the animal noticed it had company, said biologist Jeff Conner, a natural resource specialist for Rocky Mountain National Park.

The sighting lasted 30 or 40 seconds, a good amount of time at the volunteers’ vantage point of 200 feet, to see and describe an animal, he said.

Conner investigated the claim the next day. He found the animal’s tracks, and using the volunteer’s description of the animal, he decided that it could have been a wolf.

“There’s an animal out there, and we don’t know exactly what it is, but we called the report credible,” he said.

The tracks showed it was not a mountain lion, coyote, bear or a domestic dog, which leaves a wolf or a wolf hybrid – a cross between a domestic dog and wolf, Conner said.

Researchers from the Denver Zoo studying mountain lions in the park are now also watching out for signs of wolves, Conner said.

“We’ve been kind of anticipating something like this happening,” he said.

That’s because of a possible wolf sighting near Walden in February 2006 that was caught on film and showed a black canine south of the Wyoming border, considered pretty good evidence that animal was visiting the state, Conner said.

In 2004, the Colorado Division of Wildlife also confirmed that a collared wolf from Wyoming, also black, was killed on Interstate 70.

After poking around and asking local wildlife managers this month, Conner also learned of a handful of unsubstantiated wolf sightings this year in or around Rocky Mountain National Park, including the Indian Peaks Wilderness just south of the park and Lyons Gulch, on U.S. Highway 36, west of Lyons.

“We get wolf sightings all the time, but the hard thing is confirming them,” said Tyler Baskfield, spokesman for the Colorado Division of Wildlife.

Friday was the first Baskfield heard of the Dec. 4 sighting in the park, so he couldn’t comment on it. But the division is preparing for wolves – it recently finished a wolf management plan for Colorado if or when the animal returns – after the animal was wiped out during the early part of the 20th century.

Rocky Mountain National Park officials recently considered introducing wolves into the park to manage the elk population. But that alternative was all but scrapped when park officials introduced its Elk and Vegetation Management Plan on Dec. 11, six days after Conner deemed the wolf sighting credible.

The plan describes how park officials will cull the elk population in and around the park.

Conner said officials didn’t intend to keep the sighting quiet, but he acknowledged there was no effort to publicize it, either.

With the Walden sighting less than two years ago, it makes sense that a wolf could be roaming through Rocky Mountain National Park, said Rob Edwards, director of carnivore restoration for Sinapu, a Boulder-based organization dedicated to restoring predators to Colorado.

“It could be the same animal (as the one near Walden), it could be a new one; it’s hard to say. But individual wolves will be making forays into Colorado from time to time,” he said.

But Edwards doesn’t believe the wolf packs in and around Yellowstone National Park, where they were introduced in the 1990s, will ever migrate very far into southern Wyoming because of lack of food.

He also doesn’t believe that wolves visiting Colorado will ever stay and establish packs here because there’s little evidence of wolves traveling great distances with a pack or even with other animals, said Edwards, who advocates for wolf reintroduction.

They make the trips alone in search of another mate, which they won’t find in Colorado, he said.

Baskfield said Edwards’ take on wolf migration is opinion, not fact.

“I’ve heard arguments on both sides of that issue,” he said. “Even experts debate that.”

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Dec 29

CO: Park Volunteers Report Possible Wolf Sighting In Colorado

Park Volunteers Report Possible Wolf Sighting In Colorado

Wolves Were Wiped Out In Colorado By 1930s

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. — Rocky Mountain National Park officials say a recent report of a possible wolf sighting is credible, but it’s difficult to be sure without more evidence.

Ranger Jack Dinsmoor said Friday that two experienced park volunteers reported seeing what looked like a wolf on Dec. 4. They didn’t get a photo, but large canine paw prints were later found in the area.

Dinsmoor said park officials don’t know if the animal was a wolf, a wolf-dog hybrid or some other mix.

A visitor to the park northwest of Denver took a photo of two animals resembling wolves in the same area Dec. 19. Dinsmoor said the animals couldn’t be positively identified because the photo was taken from a distance and is of poor quality.

“Until we get more evidence, we’re watching and waiting,” Dinsmoor said.

Colorado Division of Wildlife spokesman Tyler Baskfield said he doesn’t believe the agency knew about the sighting in the park.

“We get wolf sightings on a regular basis,” Baskfield said. “They’re very tough to confirm without video or a photograph.”

Baskfield said the division did confirm that a large black animal caught on video by wildlife officers last February in northern Colorado was a wolf. State wildlife officers recorded the animal Feb. 16 and 17 near Walden, about 140 miles northwest of Denver and about 40 miles from Rocky Mountain National Park.

Wolves were native to Colorado but were wiped out by the 1930s after ranchers, government agents and others shot, trapped and poisoned the predator.

In 2004, a dead wolf was found along Interstate 70. Its radio collar showed that it was from Yellowstone National Park.

State wildlife managers believe it’s just a matter of time until more of the animals roam into Colorado.

Environmentalists advocate releasing wolves into Rocky Mountain National Park to restore the predator to Colorado and help reduce the number of elk, which are overgrazing the park.

Park officials are proposing instead to reduce the herd in part by using sharpshooters to kill elk.

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Dec 29

Wyoming proposes wolf regulations

Wyoming proposes wolf regulations

JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) – Draft regulations proposed by the Wyoming Department of Game and Fish would allow ranchers to kill gray wolves that prey on livestock while wildlife managers could kill wolves that try to take elk on state feed grounds.

The draft regulations announced yesterday (Friday) don’t mention establishing a sport hunting season for wolves in the state. Eric Keszler, spokesman for the game department, says officials plan to set hunting seasons in the spring.

The proposed regulations would apply only to the northwest corner of the state, where wolves would be considered trophy game animals. Wolves in the rest of the state would be classified as predators that could be shot on sight.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working to remove wolves in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho from protections under the federal Threatened and Endangered Species Act by March. That would turn responsibility for wolf management over to the states. However, some conservation groups have threatened lawsuits that could delay the process.

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Dec 28

FL: Rare wolves coming to Homosassa Springs

Rare wolves coming to Homosassa Springs

It’ll be the only state park with red wolves, once extinct in the wild.

By BARBARA BEHRENDT, Times Staff Writer

HOMOSASSA SPRINGS – A stroll down the Wildlife Walk of Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park these days nets a visitor a close-up view of a batch of gobbling turkeys. Soon, that space will hold something much more rare.

Homosassa Springs has been approved to house five red wolves, creatures so scarce that just a couple of decades ago, they were extinct in the wild. It will be the only state park boasting this rarest of Florida fauna.

The wolves will join other endangered and protected species on display at Homosassa Springs – manatees, whooping cranes, key deer and the American crocodile.

Park manager Art Yerian and Susan Lowe, who heads up animal care, recently showed their new red wolf enclosure. A grassy, open-air pen at the very front of the Wildlife Walk has been reserved for the special canines.

The exhibit is near new enclosures for owls, small birds of prey and the park’s foxes.

Yerian is waiting for a check just after the first of the year that will allow the park to complete the wolf exhibit by adding night houses. Once that construction is done, all will be set for the arrival of the wolves this spring.

No details are yet available about the specific animals that will come to the park, but it is not likely that the first animals will be a breeding pair. Instead, they might be adult same-sex siblings, according to Will Waddell, the national red wolf species survival plan coordinator.

While eventually the plan is to allow Homosassa Springs to become part of the captive breeding program, Waddell said he wants the staff to start slowly.

He sees the addition of the rare species as a good opportunity to tell visitors about the plight of red wolves, especially since many people don’t know that they once called Florida home.

Not actually red like red foxes, red wolves are a ruddy, cinnamon-like color. They are smaller than their well-known cousins, the grey wolves. They tend to hunt in smaller packs for smaller game than the bigger wolf species. Red wolves were thought to have ranged from Florida to possibly New England to the north and Texas to the west in the distant past.

A species in trouble

Realizing that the animals were in trouble, in 1970, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service started a captive breeding program. There are about 200 animals in that program now.

By 1980, red wolves had disappeared from the wild. But with a reintroduction program in place, there are now between 100 to 130 wolves in the wild.

Most are living in North Carolina, but a breeding pair and its pup live on St. Vincent, an island off the Florida Panhandle. That pup, which was raised isolated and wild, will eventually join wild wolves in North Carolina, Waddell said.

Eventually, another location in the wolves’ original range will be chosen as well to repopulate with red wolves, but just where is a decision that will take time. An effort to reintroduce the animals to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee failed.

The red wolf recovery program is unique in that it is the only case in which a large predator has been successfully reintroduced into the wild after being declared extinct in the wild.

Waddell, who is based at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, Wash., said public education that is made possible through exhibits such as the one planned at Homosassa Springs goes a long way to helping the red wolves.

Their decline had been like that of so many other creatures. Their habitat was lost to development, and they were persecuted, as most large predators are.

“The mentality has been to get rid of them,” he said. “But the red wolf has dodged a bullet with the help of a lot of good people.”

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Dec 26

MN: What’s it like to be a wolf?

What’s it like to be a wolf?

By Steve Karnowski
Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS – The new video game “WolfQuest” allows players to follow the call of the wild.

“You take on the perspective of a wolf living in Yellowstone National Park, and you have to learn how to do everything a wolf does. You have to learn how to hunt, survive, defend your territory and ultimately find a mate and establish your own pack,” project director Grant Spickelmier said.

One thing players learn quickly is that wolves do a lot of running – across plains, through forests and up and down steep slopes. The game’s realistic graphics make it a wild ride.

Released Thursday

The first episode, “Amethyst Mountain,” was officially released Thursday night as a free download at www.wolfquest.org. A test version released on Halloween was downloaded more than 40,000 times, he said.

“WolfQuest” was developed by the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley, where Spickelmier is assistant director of education, and Eduweb, an educational software developer in St. Paul, with the help of a $508,253 National Science Foundation grant. Other partners include the National Zoo in Washington, the Phoenix Zoo, Yellowstone and the International Wolf Center in Ely.

It’s aimed mainly at video game players ages 10 to 15. Spickelmier said that’s because kids in that age range have largely stopped going to zoos. Parents still take younger children to zoos, but the target group is more interested in other things such as video games, he said.

“We’re hoping to capture some of those kids back with this game,” he said, adding that they also hope to interest them in wolf conservation and biology.

Earlier games

It’s not the first time a zoo has offered computer games – the San Diego Zoo offers some simple games for younger kids playable directly on its Web site using Flash. The National Zoo has a similar “Design a Panda Habitat” game on the giant pandas page of its site. And the New York Zoos and Aquarium has a site where kids can build their own “avatars” representing themselves out of human and animal parts.

Nor is it the first time a video game has simulated wolf life – the DOS game “Wolf” was released in 1994. But Spickelmier said “WolfQuest” is a “new breed” of video game because of its state-of-the-art graphics and scientifically accurate content.

Steve Feldman, spokesman for the American Zoo Association, said “WolfQuest” takes things to a higher level than what other zoos have tried.

“The level of realism, and also the goal, which is to affect real conservation behavior change, is what makes this game unique,” Feldman said.

In the first episode, the player assumes the role of a solitary wolf roaming the slopes of Amethyst Mountain in Yellowstone, chasing down elk and snowshoe hares.

Players rely not just on their eyes to hunt but also a virtual sense of smell. When the “scent vision” screen is toggled on, the background goes black-and-white, and scent trails light up like neon for coyotes, rabbits and elk, and it’s possible to tell how old the trail is. Yellow spots show where other wolves have left their calling cards.

To howl like a wolf, just hit the “H” key. It’s fun, but that’s about all howling does in this episode, Spickelmier said. In future episodes, though, howling will help the virtual wolf draw in its pack and connect with them. The howl is sampled from an actual wolf at the International Wolf Center, he said.

“WolfQuest” can be played as a single game or as a multiplayer game online, which allows up to five players to form a pack and hunt as a team.

The game’s Web site offers discussion boards for players to connect up to play, share tips and complain about bugs – a common theme in many fresh posts Friday. Spickelmier said fixes are coming soon.

The developers plan to release several additional episodes in 2008. They’ll explore other areas of Yellowstone, allow players to establish their pack’s territory (yes, by lifting a leg and urinating), defend their elk carcasses against hungry grizzly bears, raise pups and even kill sheep on nearby ranches.

The game got a strong thumbs-up from David Walsh, president of the National Institute on Media and the Family, a group that studies the impact of media on children’s health and development and often makes news for its criticism of violent video games.

“It’s got great educational value, while at the same time it’s engaging,” Walsh said. “It’s a good alternative to the shoot ‘em up games that are so popular with that age group.”

On the Net:

– WolfQuest: www.wolfquest.org

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Posted in Uncategorized
Dec 24

AK: Area of Richardson closed over wolf attacks

Area of Richardson closed over wolf attacks

The Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Army closed certain training areas at Fort Richardson to the public because of encounters between a pack of wolves and people walking or running with their dogs.

On Saturday, the Army announced that they are placing all training areas west and north of the Artillery Road area off limits. The restriction is being imposed for the safety of people who use Fort Richardson lands for recreational purposes, base officials said in a written statement.

The most recent wolf attack occurred Thursday morning, when three women jogging down Artillery Road with their dogs were surprised to find seven or eight wolves trailing them. The women said the pack silently approached from behind. By the time the women noticed, the wolves spanned the road only a few feet behind them.

One dog took injuries that required stitches. The dog’s owner, Camas Barkemeyer, backed the wolves up with a can of pepper spray. But the wolves followed the group about three-quarters of a mile down Artillery Road to the entrance gate.

The same pack is believed to have killed another dog in Eagle River last week, as well as at least two other dogs in the last month. The pack has threatened other people and dogs.

State wildlife biologists said the behavior of the wolf pack is worrisome because the wolves appear to have begun attacking dogs when humans are close by.

Officials said the pack consists of one black wolf and as many as five gray wolves.

State wildlife officials expect trappers will take care of the problem. The trapping season for wolves in the area north of the city extends into late winter.

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