Juneau AK (AP) - The Department of Fish and Game says it will not issue a permit to capture a wolf seen around the village of Evansville so that it can be relocated to Washington.
Evansville is a community of about 20 people 180 miles northwest of Fairbanks, adjacent to Bettles.
The lone wolf has been seen over the past few months hanging around Evansville with an injured paw. The department says it's apparently missing the lower portion of the right front paw but the paw is healed and the animal appears healthy.
The sighting of the injured wolf prompted a campaign to place the animal in a Washington state wolf sanctuary. Animal rights group Friends of Animals of Darien, Connecticut even offered to pay to capture and transport it.
Wildlife Conservation Division director Matt Robus says it's not appropriate to take an animal from the wild and send it to a captive facility in another state just because people have become attached to it.
Interior Regional Supervisor David James says people have apparently been feeding the wolf, and such animals can become dangerous. But he says if people stop feeding the wolf and it doesn't threaten anyone, there is no reason for the department to kill it.
The department also says any licensed hunter or trapper can legally kill the wolf before the seasons end April 30th.