Wolves kill again kill a pet dog in Alaska, this time in a North Pole subdivision

A pack of wolves killed and ate a dog in a residential subdivision in North Pole early Wednesday morning.The dog, a 15-year-old black Lab mix named Shilo, evidently ran into the wolves while it was out taking care of its morning business, said owner Ed Lesage, who lives off Mavencamp Court in North Pole, a subdivision at the end of Hurst Road on the edge of Chena Lake and the Chena Lakes Recreation Area.Lesage said his wife, Teresa, both teachers, let their two dogs, Shilo and a 4-year-old husky named Chief, out to go to the bathroom at about 4 a.m. just as they do every morning.“We let ‘em out, they go to the bathroom and they come back 15 or 20 minutes later,” Ed Lesage said of their morning ritual.On Wednesday morning, though, Lesage noticed that all the dogs in the neighborhood began barking shortly after he let the two dogs out.“Something just didn’t seem right,” he said.His wife went outside to check on the dogs and found Shilo dead on the edge of the lake, about 50 yards from the house. Chief, the husky, was standing at the edge of the woods and bolted toward the house when the dog saw Teresa, Lesage said.“She came back up from the lake and said, ‘You need a pistol,’ ” Ed Lesage said of his wife.After arming himself, Lesage walked down to the lake and saw three distinct blood spots in the snow. The dog was half-eaten at that point, he said. It was too dark to tell if it was a bear or wolves that killed the dog, so Lesage retreated to his house and called 911. Alaska State Troopers directed him to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.State wildlife biologists Don Young and Tom Seaton drove to North Pole to inspect the kill site at first light. They estimated there were five wolves in the pack and it doesn’t appear the killing was premeditated, Young said.“Based on the tracks, it looks like it was a chance encounter,” he said. “The wolves were coming one way and the dog was coming the other way and they met.”By the time the biologists arrived at around 9 a.m., the wolves had consumed the dead dog, Young said.While it doesn’t happen every year, wolf attacks on dogs in outlying areas of Fairbanks are not uncommon, especially given the number of sled dog lots there are in places like Two Rivers, the Goldstream Valley and Salcha, Young said.“It’s not unusual,” he said. “It seems like it happens every three or four years.”The Lesages’ property is “right on the edge of civilization,” Young said.It was unknown if the wolves remained in the area, but Young advised residents to keep a close eye on their pets and children when they’re outside.“We have no idea whether these wolves are going to leave the area or hang around the area,” he said. “They’ve already taken one dog.”As for the risk to humans, most notably children, “it’s always better to err on the side of caution,” Young said.“I don’t think anybody should panic,” he said. “Most interactions between wolves and people are wolves that have been habituated or been fed and we have no indication that’s the case with these wolves.”Young knows of a trapper who lives in the area and said the department will contact him to let him know there are wolves in the area. The trapping season opens today, Young said.Other than a cracked tooth and the fact she was “a little bit slow,” Shilo was in good health for a dog her age, said Ed Lesage. The fact that Shilo was killed on Halloween was somewhat creepy, he said.“We got the dog on Halloween night in 1993,” Lesage said. “We picked her up as a stray when we were stationed (with the military) in Naples, Italy.”


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