HOWL Colorado

IWC: Statement about woman probably killed by wolves

The International Wolf Center released a statement regarding the death of Candice Berner.

HOWLColorado has always been a strong proponent of becoming informed about how to live with wildlife, which includes taking the necessary and proper precautions.

We have often stated what those are, such as in the article: Are wolves dangerous to humans?

However this statement from the International Wolf Center is very clear and concise and should be shared with as many people as possible.

Recent news articles have reported that a 32-year-old woman jogging outside a village in Alaska probably was killed by wolves. Authorities killed two wolves nearby and are hoping to match their DNA with samples that might be found on or near the woman’s body. The investigation is still not complete.

If this occurrence is confirmed as a wolf kill, it would be the first documented case for Alaska and the second for North America. Each year hundreds of thousands of people regularly hike, camp, hunt and otherwise recreate by wolves without incident in North America wolf range, which includes 60,000-70,000 wolves. What few non-fatal attacks have been recorded have almost always involved wolves fed by, or habituated to, people. Nevertheless, wolves, like all large carnivores including bears and dogs, are capable of harming humans. Thus precautions should always be taken in wolf country such as:

1. not feeding wolves or leaving or discarding food, garbage, or fish remains where wolves have access;
2. not approaching wolves;
3. reporting to authorities any wolves not showing fear of humans;
4. not leaving pets or small children unattended near wooded areas;
5. telling someone where you are going or pairing up with a partner when hiking or jogging through wooded areas;
6. remaining aware of your surroundings;
7. carrying bear spray when alone in wooded areas and knowing how to use it for added peace of mind;
8. remembering that wolves are attracted to dogs and their feces.

If confronted by a wolf or wolves, do not run. Rather stand your ground, make yourself look as large as possible, yell threateningly, wave your arms, and slowly back away. If necessary and possible, throw stones or other objects, arm yourself with a long pole or stick, and fight any attack as hard as you can.

But remember such a confrontation is extremely unlikely.
Related links
Guides on living with wolves and avoiding conflict

This original article appeared on the International Wolf Center Web site

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