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AK: White wolf struck and killed by vehicle in East Anchorage

Suzanna Caldwell

A white wolf known to roam parts of Anchorage in recent years was struck and killed by a vehicle Wednesday morning.

Ken Marsh, spokesman for Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Wildlife Conservation, said the female wolf was hit by a motorist on East Tudor Road near the Muldoon Road curve at about 6:45 a.m. Wednesday.

Marsh said people have reported seeing the wolf in areas ranging from Midtown to Eagle River in recent years. At one point the wolf was a breeding female in the Arctic Valley wolf pack but was lately spotted on its own. The wolf was even the subject of a news story last year when a motorist captured video of it carrying a caribou hide into the woods.

The wolf had on a radio collar that biologists attached for tracking studies in 2009. Marsh said the tracker batteries died years ago, but biologists elected to leave the device on the wolf since it wasn’t harming the animal.

Despite urban sightings, there were no reports of the wolf acting aggressively toward humans, though last summer Fish and Game discovered it had killed a moose calf near the Campbell Creek bike path.

“You could see her off in the brush curled up,” he said. “Nobody even knew she was there.”

Marsh said the wolf weighed about 90 pounds when its body was recovered Wednesday, about average for a female wolf. The animal was between 10 and 12 years old when it died — old for a wild canine — but otherwise in good health.

It’s a rare occurrence for wolves to be hit by cars in Alaska’s largest city. Last year a teen boy struck and killed a wolf on Prince of Wales Island in Southeast Alaska.