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Wolf kills off-leash dog on a walk with owner near Duluth lakeshore

Discussion in 'Canine News/Informative Articles' started by JanS, Feb 10, 2016.

  1. JanS

    JanS DCF Owner Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Wolves going after city pets is "rare but getting more common," a DNR official said.

    By Paul Walsh Star Tribune

    FEBRUARY 10, 2016 — 2:01PM
    Leo was killed by a wolf while on a walk Tuesday near the Duluth lakeshore.

    A hungry wolf roamed into Duluth and killed a family's beloved dog that its owner had taken on its usual off-leash walk along a popular trail.

    A state conservation officer said an attack such as Tuesday's is rare but becoming more common because the deer population in that part of the state is not as plentiful in rural areas for wolves to feed on, leading them to prowl in more urban surroundings.

    Leo, an 11-year-old golden retriever-Corgi mix, was no more than 15 to 20 yards from its owner on a short trail near Brighton Beach when the wolf pounced about noon, said Keith Olson, a longtime conservation officer with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

    The dog's owner, Terry Irvin, of Duluth, said he didn't see the attack itself. Olson went to the scene and said "the violence" of the kill site, the bite marks and the tracks convinced him that a lone wolf was responsible.

    "The timing was impeccable," said Olson, who described the trail as a favorite of dog owners who live near the shore of Lake Superior. "That poor dog, Leo, was in the wrong place at the wrong time. And lone wolves are a little more desperate."

    Irvin said he and Leo "have been going down to that park for nine years, two to three times a week, and we've never had a problem."

    [​IMG]This wolf was photographed last September near Brighton Beach in Duluth. A dog on a trail near the same beach was attacked by a wolf and killed on Tuesday.

    He said Tuesday's walk was like most others with Leo, whom Irvin and his wife adopted from a shelter by nine years ago. "I got a little ahead of him, and I was waiting for him. And then I waited and waited, maybe 5-6 minutes, and called and whistled."

    After checking areas off the quarter-mile trail, Irvin continued, he returned to where he last saw the Leo.

    "I walked into the woods, and I saw him," he said. "It was a traumatic sight. I will never forget it. … It was heartbreaking."

    Instances of wolves going after pets in the city are "rare but getting more common," said Olson, who has been with the DNR in that part of the state for 28 years. "Duluth is a unique community. A lot of critters roam through Duluth."

    Dogs are required by law to be on a leash in the area where Leo was attacked, said Carrie Lane, a shelter lead worker for the Police Department's animal services division.

    "I understand the [desire] to have your dog off your leash and have it get exercise," Lane said. "But it appears that the number of wolves is growing, so it's probably not worth the trade-off."

    Irvin said he never had Leo on a leash whenever he walked him on that trail. He acknowledged that Leo's death "is entirely my fault."

    North Shore Veterinary Hospital, located just south of the beach, notified its clients of Leo's demise in a Facebook posting, explaining, "We want to share this information because many of us walk our pets in this area. We want everyone to be aware and as safe as possible."

    Vet Hospital staff manager Holly Rosendahl said this is the first time the facility has lost a client to a wolf and recalled an earlier attack that one of its dogs survived. Rosendahl said it's more common for deer and occasionally coyotes to harm dogs.

    Rosendahl said that while best to keep dogs on a leash during walks, that's no guarantee against a wolf pouncing. She said there have been instances of wolves attacking dogs on leashes.

    "Wolves are pretty brave" in populated areas, Rosendahl said. "They are not as fearful as we think they are. Desperate times call for desperate measures when they are hungry."

    Officer Olson cautioned all dog owners in Duluth, whether during walks or just around the house, to keep an eye on their four-legged loved ones.

    "When you let Fluffy out for that last pee of the night," he said, "instead of just opening the door and waiting till he scratches to get back in, you might want to watch from the deck."

    Original source:
    Hungry wolf kills off-leash dog on a walk with owner near Duluth lakeshore

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  2. AresMyDobie

    AresMyDobie Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Wolves are one of my favorite animals and I can't blame the animal for this. The human is at fault for letting the dog off the lead. I'm sorry but more and more people are moving into natures backyard and in a sense asking for nature to be in theirs. People are creating a problem of chasing off their food source so what's the poor starving animal gonna do ? Look for an easy meal.
  3. JanS

    JanS DCF Owner Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    True, but Duluth is a fairly large city and there is lots of wilderness around town so it's pretty gutsy to come right into town like that. I know it is mating season for them so perhaps that has something to do with it. Our boy Boris was indirectly killed during wolf mating season when they were marking at the end of the driveway so he bolted out there to try to cover it.
    • Empathetic Empathetic x 1
  4. AresMyDobie

    AresMyDobie Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Yikes ! Ya if it's mating season that makes it all the more dangerous ! They will travel ! I think this was a freak occurrence honestly.
    I'm really sorry about your boy Boris :( I don't know what happened and never thought it was my place to ask :/
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  5. JanS

    JanS DCF Owner Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Thank you. I don't mind you asking. He always stayed here in the yard (supervised) but the wolves were marking at the end of the driveway and that day he got a bug up his butt and bolted out there to cover it and was hit by a lone car coming by and killed instantly.
    For sure. We own over 100 acres and the tracks are all over right now where we run the dogs. I think they were out there last weekend when Hubby had our two out for a walk since they both went on high alert and had their hackles up, which is something Albert almost never does. Hubby went for a walk shortly after that and said there were fresh wolf tracks all over out in the new snow. That does scare me.
  6. AresMyDobie

    AresMyDobie Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Oh that's so sad :( I'm so sorry about that :(
    Yes it would scare me too ! I do love wolves though so I'd probably be excited too lol
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  7. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Wow. That's wild. I almost went to college in Duluth.

    Don't worry, I don't hate wolves, but this presents a good argument for carrying a gun.

    I wonder if someone would get in legal trouble for shooting a wolf that was about to attack their dog (or a person?)
    • Agree Agree x 4
  8. MyBuddy

    MyBuddy Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Whoa, this story had my heart in my stomach! How frightening! It's something I think about a lot even walking our property. And one reason why we don't have many trees in the back. I want to SEE my property. When I walk the dogs, I am forever scanning the land, looking for a coyote or hawk on our property and beyond. When we come down the path between our property and our neighbors, I am always trying to look around all the evergreens and pines on their land. I don't let Kali dilly dally too much behind me for fear of something coming out of the trees there. Yea, it's on my mind a lot. I picked up a fallen limb one day and ended up keeping it as a walking stick. It gave me an idea of finding a better suited one and perhaps sanding it down and making a real walking stick for myself. It would just give me something like a weapon in my hand. It's not a gun and not much of a deterrent but its something.

    How sad for this man who walked his dog there for 9 years without incident. :( And what a horrible death for the dog. Just makes me cry thinking about it.
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  9. gettinggreyer

    gettinggreyer Hot Topics Subscriber

    :nono:YOU WOULD BE IN A LOT OF TROUBLE!!!!:dontpanic:

    Federal court ruling makes killing wolves illegal
    Effective Dec. 19, 2014, Minnesotans can no longer legally kill a wolf except in the defense of human life.

    A federal judge's decision to immediately reinstate Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan place the animals under protection of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Wolves now revert to the federal protection status they had prior to being removed from the endangered species list in the Great Lakes region in January 2012. That means wolves now are federally classified as threatened in Minnesota and endangered elsewhere in the Great Lakes region.

    Only agents of the government are authorized to take wolves if depredation occurs.

    Minnesota's Wolf Range
    Click to enlarge

    Estimated at fewer than 750 animals in the 1950s, Minnesota's wolf population now is estimated at 2,423 animals, 212 more wolves than estimated on the survey conducted in winter 2013.

    The latest population survey results estimate that 470 wolf packs lived in Minnesota's wolf range this past winter, 212 more wolves than estimated on the survey conducted in winter 2013.

    Estimates show a stable population and with no significant change from the 2013 estimate of 2,211 wolves. DNR will continue to evaluate the wolf population annually to ensure the wolf population remains well established across northern and central Minnesota. The complete report is available on the Conservation Officer Locator and leave a recorded message 24/7.

    Are wolves dangerous to people?
    In a word, the general answer is no. Wolves typically avoid people. But there are several well-documented accounts of wild wolves attacking people in North America. Although there were no witnesses, two investigations have determined that wolves attacked and killed a young man in Saskatchewan in 2005 and a woman in Alaska in 2010. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Wolf attacks on humans in North America are rare, and, as a result, poorly understood. Accounts of wolves killing people persist in India and in Russia and parts of central Asia. It is a fact that when wild animals become habituated to people, they may lose their fear of humans, especially if they are fed or if they associate humans with providing food.

    Like any large predator, wolves are perfectly capable of killing people. No one should ever encourage a wolf or any other wild animal to approach. Hikers and campers should take all necessary precautions to prevent mishaps involving wildlife. People should be mindful of the potential harm that wolves and other wild animals are capable of inflicting.

    How do I practice wolf safety?
    Don't make your home or camp attractive to wolves:

    • Keep a clean camp; don't dispose of food by dumping into the campfire.
    • Don't leave unwashed cooking utensils around your camp.
    • Don't leave garbage unsecured.
    • Don't cook food near your tent or sleeping area.
    • Don't allow pets to freely roam away from your home or camp.
    • Don't leave pet food or other food attractants out near your home or camp.
    • Don't bury garbage, pack it out.
    In the rare event that you do have an encounter with an aggressive wolf:

    • Don't run, but act aggressively stepping toward the wolf and yelling or clapping your hands if it tries to approach.
    • Do not turn your back toward an aggressive wolf, but continue to stare directly at it. If you are with a companion and more than one wolf is present place yourselves back to back and slowly move away from the wolves.
    • Retreat slowly while facing the wolf and act aggressively.
    • Stand your ground if a wolf attacks you and fight with any means possible (use sticks, rocks, ski poles, fishing rods or whatever you can find).
    • Use air horns or other noise makers.
    • Use bear spray or firearms if necessary.
    • Climb a tree if necessary, wolves cannot climb trees.

    Yes! I bet the wolf was watching and knew the guy was coming---as humans are
    creatures of habit! The wolves here are having a hard time getting deer. What's the next best thing? A
    big dog, or any dog! SORRY -- The LAW STATES---you have to have your dog under control at ALL times.
    This means LEASH. --Yep.
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  10. gettinggreyer

    gettinggreyer Hot Topics Subscriber

    DO YOU SEE this comment!!!! The government does this because of all the people that would
    kill them INTO EXTINCTION!!!!
  11. MyBuddy

    MyBuddy Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Maybe they should limit hunting the deer then! Although I'm sure somehow they figure this out as far as balancing the food and the prey. But if the wolves are having a hard time finding deer, maybe they should stop hunting the deer for a while. Or start hunting wolves. I know they do that once in a while where they have a short period of time where hunting is allowed just for the fact of cutting down on the numbers. IDK I'm not a hunter and don't know anything about how they regulate stuff like this. I know it's the humans encroaching on their territories that play a part too.
    Bottom line is we just have to be aware.
  12. GennyB

    GennyB Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    I worry about something happening when I take the dogs over to the farm. It's a good place to run into wildlife. There is corn to feed the deer so they are plentiful. Being right on the river with plenty of food attracts all kinds of wildlife. There is a treeline along the river so they have everything, food, water and shelter to make it a perfect environment for them. We never go unarmed. We have talked about all the possibilities and hope we have a good plan if something should happen.
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  13. JanS

    JanS DCF Owner Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Very true. Hubby was just telling me how the wolves in Michigan have learned that bear hunters have the dogs track them and after learning the habits well enough they just make their move and it's an easy kill with the dogs. I don't agree with bear hunting OR using dogs for it, but it just shows that the wolves do learn habits and take advantage of it.
    You're right, it's an easy year for the deer so it is harder for the wolves to get them.
  14. JanS

    JanS DCF Owner Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    The deer are making a nice comeback and they have limited hunting for the past couple year. Like I said above, it's just an easy year for the deer with very little snow so it's hard for the wolves to catch them.
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  15. MyBuddy

    MyBuddy Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Ah, I see. I guess that makes a big difference. They can outrun a wolf? But not in snow, I suppose.
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  16. gettinggreyer

    gettinggreyer Hot Topics Subscriber

    They are super smart---sad truth the dogs are easy prey.

    Yeah, that is a whole other subject---- Tradition with some dog hunters. The wolves DO take advantage, as it is
    a matter of survival. Nothing else.

    Living out in the country, I have never seen a kill wasted, in the wild. Except human.
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  17. MyBuddy

    MyBuddy Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Yes, that's what I was talking about (cuz I don't know what I'm talking about with hunting! :p ) "limited hunting". They do that when they want to balance the numbers.
  18. MyBuddy

    MyBuddy Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

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  19. gettinggreyer

    gettinggreyer Hot Topics Subscriber

    The DNR had strict limits of deer in 2015. Because of all the snow and cold the year before.
    Like Jan said, this year there are high numbers of deer, and they can run faster because of
    the lack of snow this year.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Boy, I know deer are too plentiful in many places. That's not scientific, but when we have deer strolling around in neighborhoods in the city it seems they are too plentiful. Now that we have a fenced backyard I don't see much deer scat in the backyard anymore and less of it goes in my dog's stomach. At some of the parks here in Cincinnati there are some weeks set aside for deer hunting.
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