Wolf Song of Alaska News

Elmendorf Wolf Pack Stops Attacking Pets

James Halpin / Anchorage Daily News / February 7, 2008


A pack of wolves that attacked several dogs near Anchorage this winter, killing three, remains in the area but so far has stopped taking pets, state biologists say.

The string of attacks here began in November and continued until mid-December, the same week one of the wolves, a young female, was shot near Peters Creek, said Rick Sinnott, the Anchorage-area wildlife biologist with the state Department of Fish and Game.

"It's not unusual in wild animals for a young female to take the lead on a wild idea, something new and innovative," Sinnott said. "I think they learned from that one occasion that we're more dangerous than we look."

It's also possible the pack is finding better pickings for moose, which are easier to catch in deeper snow, he said.

It's common for a couple dogs to get snatched by wolves in the Anchorage area every year or so, but it's unusual for wolves to attack while dogs' owners are with them, as happened this winter, Sinnott said.

The wolves, called the Elmendorf pack because they frequent the military bases, continue to be spotted on Fort Richardson, he said. Training areas that closed because of the attacks reopened late last month, with base officials reporting little new wolf activity near Artillery Road.

Find James Halpin online at adn.com/contact/jhalpin or call him at 257-4589.

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