Wolves killing dogs near Whitehorse

A Yukon conservation officer is warning people in the Whitehorse area to keep a close eye on their pets, since wolves have killed at least five dogs in recent weeks.

A Yukon conservation officer is warning people in the Whitehorse area to keep a close eye on their pets, since wolves have killed at least five dogs in recent weeks.

Incidents have been reported on Annie Lake Road, in the Robinson subdivision, along the Alaska Highway toward the Lewes River Bridge, and elsewhere around Whitehorse.

Dave Bakica said it’s not unusual for wolves to take dogs, since they’re fairly easy prey.

But he said these wolves seem to be getting a real taste for pets.

“These guys are getting a little bit much. (They’re) getting more comfortable at it.”

He said there’s no indication that the wolves are malnourished or unhealthy.

Hans Kolaritsch, who lives on Annie Lake Road, said his dogs narrowly escaped a wolf on the Sunday before last. He said they were acting strange outside and his wife eventually let them in the house.

As soon as they were inside, he said, a wolf came up onto the porch and put its paws up on the front door.

He said the wolf then came around the house to where he was working out back, and came directly toward him, to within five metres. He then shot the animal.

“It didn’t seem afraid, that’s for sure,” he said, adding that he’s never seen anything like it in the 33 years he’s lived here.

But Bakica said it’s very rare for wolves to approach people as Kolaritsch described.

“Wolves are extremely skittish of people,” he said. “That is extremely unlikely.”

He said people should avoid leaving their dogs outside unattended, particularly when it’s dark out.

Any attack should be reported to Yukon conservation officers.

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