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Third dog attacked by wolves in Marsh Lake area near Whitehorse

Wildlife officials in Yukon are warning pet owners to be particularly careful with their animals during cold spells as wild animals may be foraging for food. A third dog has been attacked in a Whitehorse neighbourhood.

Yukon Wildlife officials warning pet owners to keep close eye on pets during cold spells

A wolf walks through deep snow in a front yard in a residential neighbourhood in Teslin, Yukon in mid-December. (courtesy of Adam Skrutkowski)

Wildlife officials in Yukon are warning dog owners to keep a close eye on their pets during cold spells as wild animals may be foraging for food.

This past weekend, wolves attacked and killed a Yukon family's dog  in the Judas Creek subdivision at Marsh Lake.

It is the third reported incident of a wolf attacking a dog in the Marsh Lake area. The last attack was at the end of December.

David Bakica, a Yukon conservation officer, says cold weather could be contributing to the wolves' search for food and peoples' dogs are an easy target.

“One wolf will often come around and dance around and play, the dog will bark and go after it. Once they get a little ways away from houses or people other wolves will show up and that's the end of the dog.”
David Bakica, a Yukon conservation officer, says dogs are an easy target for wolves. (CBC)

He recommends pet owners keep their dogs on a leash.

He says dogs are easy prey for wolves if they are left free to roam around. Dogs may mistake wolves for playmates and wolves will lure dogs into isolated areas to prey on them.

"They'll come back to a location where they've gotten a free meal in the past and they'll come back and wander through and see if they can find something again and in this case they found another dog."

Joanna Jack coordinates Wild Wise Yukon, which helps reduce conflicts between humans and wildlife.She says wolf attacks on dogs can be prevented.

“Attractants can include pet food, garbage, bones, any of those things should be kept secure. We're really encouraging people to keep their pets indoors or have them tied up in a well lit and fenced yard.

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