Two More Wolves Snared in Whitehorse

The Associated Press / February 6, 2004

WHITEHORSE, Yukon Territory - Two more wolves were killed in neck snares near a subdivision last week, raising to 10 the number of wolves snared in Whitehorse this winter.

The decision to snare the wolves came about after the territorial Department of Environment received reports that more than a dozen dogs had been attacked and killed by wolves.

Nearly all the incidents were in the Mary Lake, Wolf Creek, Cowley Creek, Golden Horn and Annie Lake Road areas.

Conservation officer Ken Frankish said Thursday the wolves were snared at one of two snare sites in the Mary Lake area. The first eight wolves were snared in the first week of January in the area of the Whitehorse dump. A group of seven were caught all at once, followed by a lone wolf a day later at the same snare sight.

Some incidents involved a wolf or wolves taking pet dogs from inside their yard, and in some cases right off the leash.

Frankish said he believes there is a lone black wolf still wandering in the area from Wolf Creek to Golden Horn, and one or two more belonging to the same group from which the two wolves were taken last week near Mary Lake.

He also expects there is at least one wolf remaining in the Whitehorse dump area, likely one of the last if not the last of the pack that was killed in early January.

However, with little snow recently it's difficult to make any assessments based on tracks, as a lone wolf frequenting an area can create quite a few tracks in a hurry, Frankish said.

The situation has sparked a debate among community members, with some believing the Yukon is wolf country. They say pet owners, especially those who let their pets wander freely, do not have a right to expect wolves should be killed to protect their pets.

But others say the wolves have become so brave that there now is concern for the safety of young children.

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