"Canine carnage" of 30 years ago. With wolf attacks on dogs making the news these days in Anchorage and Fairbanks, a Fairbanks Daily News-Miner story today looks back at the winter of 1974-75, when a "wolf pack spent the entire winter stalking the Goldstream Valley, killing dozens of dogs as residents armed with guns kept nightly vigils for the wolves."
That winter's toll, according to a musher who was around then: 165 dead dogs, 13 dead wolves.
The recent dog deaths - three have been killed in the Fairbanks area, two in the Anchorage area - have stirred talk in the Two Rivers/North Pole region of hunting the wolves or putting a bounty on them. The same debate appeared to swell in the 1970s, according to the News-Miner story. The story takes note of two petitions from back then. One, "signed by only a handful of people, requested Fish and Game use helicopters to shoot the wolves from the air. Another petition directing Fish and Game not to use aerial shooting was signed by more than 100 people."
A News-Miner editorial this week urges caution and restraint in the face of the recent attacks. "If, for all the talk and publicity, it doesn't feel like much is being done, well, there isn't much to be done other than talking about the wolves and keeping each other apprised of their movements - and dining habits. Awareness and information should help us avoid any rude surprises."
An ADN story today looks at the two Anchorage-area dog deaths and a series of other attacks. Comments on the story were already stacking up early today, with one wit detailing a "check list for dog walking: leash, .44 Magnum."