By VIC VAN BALLENBERGHE
Published: 11/10/10 19:22:43
I moved to Anchorage in 1974 to work as a moose and wolf biologist for the
Department of Fish and Game. In the winter of 1975-1976 another biologist and I
investigated two cases where wolves killed dogs in the Eagle River Valley. In
1977 I moved to Fairbanks to be a biologist there. At that time, wolves killed
several dogs in the Goldstream Valley on the outskirts of Fairbanks. From time
to time, incidents like these have occurred over at least the past 35 years and
people have occasionally had close encounters with wolves near our large urban
The recent article about wolves apparently killing a dog in Eagle River
(“Bolder wolves fray resident’s nerves”, ADN, Nov. 8) suggests that
wolves are becoming more bold and more used to people, thereby posing more
danger than in the past. In my view, these claims are unfounded.
Are human-tolerant wolves apt to injure or kill people? A lot of evidence
in Alaska and elsewhere indicates that healthy wild wolves become dangerous only
when fed. When unfed wolves are not shot or trapped they adapt to the presence
of people and pose virtually no danger.
You can read the full story online here.