Wolves are preying on dogs in Old Crow

According to a game guardian with the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, wolves have killed 'about 10 or so' dogs in town in recent weeks.

Warning signs have been posted around the Yukon community, after several dogs have been killed

People are on alert in Old Crow, Yukon, as a pack of hungry wolves lingers around the community, picking off dogs.

Wolves have been roaming around Old Crow, Yukon, in recent weeks and preying on people's dogs.

According to Robert Kaye, a game guardian with the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation, wolves have killed "about 10 or so" dogs in town in the last month.

"I lost two of mine, just in the backyard of my house here," Kaye said. "And so I had to move my dogs closer to my house, just to keep them away. But they're still lingering around."

Signs have been posted around town, warning of wolves and asking people to report any sightings.

Kaye said trappers have set snares for the animals, and three wolves were killed last week. But there are still more lurking about, he said.

Travis Frost of Old Crow with a wolf he recently killed. The animal was known to have killed at least one dog in town, residents say. (Submitted by Travis Frost)

"They're just roaming around town, checking out people's dogs and yards and stuff like that," he said.

"I bumped into a couple of them at night and just chased them off. That's all we could do — it's pretty hard to shoot animals in the dark. We gotta just scare them off."

Old Crow — Yukon's northernmost community — sees little daylight at this time of year, and the animals are a concern when children might be walking around in the dark.

Kaye said people are being careful to keep kids indoors, which isn't too hard this week, as the temperature hovers around –30 C.

Wolves don't typically linger around the community, Kaye said. He figures they're hungry because the caribou are all in Alaska right now. There's also little snow around Old Crow so it may be harder for wolves to hunt moose, he said.

"The wolves, they're not in top shape, they're pretty thin. I can tell they are having a hard time to get animals," he said.  

"So they're turning towards town, picking off dogs." 

Signs like this one have been posted around the community. (Darius Elias)

With files from Heather Avery

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