ONTONAGON, Mich. (WLUC) – An Ontonagon family is speaking out tonight about a possible wolf attacking their horse. They say a wolf left the horse severely injured on their property, leaving them with high medical bills and emotional distress.
“I was scared that I could’ve gone out there and seen her dead…” said Fahren Kolpack.
This young lady feared for her 11-year-old horse, named Diggitty, last October, when she was found leaning against a tree, wounded on their property in the woods.
“I came home and Diggitty was nowhere to be found when we tried to get all of the horses and normally she’s the first one to come up,” Fahren said.
The horse suffered 2 punctures in her left hind leg, from what the family believes was made by a wolf the night before. Diggitty was immediately rushed to the vet for surgery.
The family also claims that wolves have attacked their livestock at a farm they manage in Greenland.
“I think personally, and for the farm, I believe that it has cost us more than $100,000, maybe approaching $200,000 for a 10-year span,” Fahren’s father, Duane Kolpack said.
State Representative Scott Dianda and Senator Tom Casperson are currently working to make wolf hunting legal.
The family feels they should have the right to defend their livestock and themselves when necessary.
“Maybe we shoot a wolf if it’s attacking something, or if it’s in our personal boundaries where it’s maybe starting to be unsafe,” Duane said.
In the meantime, Diggitty continues to receive treatment in the hopes to someday be ridden again.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has investigated the incident. They’ve concluded that it was not a wolf that caused the punctures. They also said there has never been a case of a wolf killing a horse in the state.
“The sight of the wound, low in the rear leg, does not indicate that these would be done by a wolf,” DNR Wildlife Biologist Brian Roell said. “What caused the injuries, we don’t know, but they are not pointing us towards a wolf. Under the depredation laws, which are set by the state, under those laws, reimbursement is only available for livestock and it’s only available if the animal is killed, it does not reimburse for injuries or medical costs thereof.”
Roell also mentioned because wolves are one the endangered species list, you cannot attack them even if they are in the act of harming livestock or pets.
It’s only allowed in the defense of human life.