State Removes 12 Wolves From Port Heiden Vicinity
State wildlife biologists killed 12 wolves within six miles of Port Heiden on Thursday and continue to assess the situation today.
Three young wolves were taken close to the community, and nine additional animals were taken five miles to the north. Biologists believe the wolves probably belonged to two separate packs.
Residents of the village have taken seven wolves in the area since August, for a total of 19 wolves taken within six miles of Port Heiden. Biologists are flying today to determine if additional wolves are in the area.
“Our efforts so far should substantially reduce the number of wolves in the area and the frequency that they come into town,” said Regional Supervisor Bruce Dale. Wolves can pose a threat when they become habituated to the presence of people and lose fear of humans.
“The wolves near Port Heiden had become a threat. Hopefully, wolves that move into the area will keep their distance, but people need to be careful near wild animals,” said Dale. Wildlife biologists have shared information with local residents about keeping people and pets safe from wolves.
Village residents had asked Department of Fish and Game and Department of Public Safety for help with aggressive wolves that had been killing pets and approaching people in frequent visits to the community. Interactions with wolves and incidents of threatening behavior by wolves had been increasing recently. Wolves have killed five dogs and two cats this year, including two dogs during the last few days.
“I want to commend the residents of Port Heiden and the personnel from Fish and Game and Public Safety involved in this week’s effort,” said Cora Campbell, Acting Commissioner of Fish and Game. “We will continue to monitor the situation and work with local residents to increase public safety.”Port Heiden is a community of over 100 inhabitants 450 miles southwest of Anchorage.
Posted: December 11, 2010