Wildlife officers shoot wolf lurking near Whitehorse landfill

Conservation officers have killed the wolf they believe attacked a dog near the Whitehorse landfill.

Wolf attacked dog, showed no fear of people, Environment Yukon says

Whitehorse resident Richard Edelman photographed this wolf near the dump earlier this week. Conservation officers say it's hard to be sure but it could be the wolf that was shot last night. (Richard Edelman)

Yukon Conservation officers have killed a wolf near the Whitehorse landfill.

Yukon Conservation Officer David Bakica says it's believed the wolf injured a dog during a very unusual chase and attack.

Wolf chased cyclists and attacked dog

On August 14, two cyclists had a frightening encounter near Whitehorse's landfill. 

Bakica says a couple were riding on mountain bikes while their female Labrador retriever was running off-leash. 

"They saw a wolf on the trail, turned around and went in the opposite direction," Bakica says. "They were riding quite quickly away and the wolf ran past and went after the dog." 

Bakica says the wolf caught the dog and put its jaws around its neck. The dog was injured, though a leather collar caught most of the wolf's teeth.

"The wolf got mostly collar —very luckily for the dog. The dog did have a couple of puncture wounds in the neck but nothing overly serious. The dog went down, they spun around and the dog managed to get free," Bakica says. 

The wolf then approached the humans to within five metres and ran away. 

Bakica says it's not unusual to have wolves outside Whitehorse and near the landfill. He says the department received many photographs and calls during the week of a grey wolf people described as unafraid. 

A wolf matching this description was shot near the landfill's back fence on August 19.

"We're pretty certain it's the same wolf. Everything matches, all the photographs. There's nothing extremely distinct about this wolf but it's close enough we're pretty confident it's the same wolf," Bakica says.

"The behavior this wolf was displaying, it's not acceptable to have wildlife that shows that little fear of people. It's not safe for people or pets," he says.

It's not acceptable to have wildlife that shows that little fear of people. It's not safe for people or pets.- David Bakica, conservation officer

Other wolves have been spotted near the landfill. Bakica says their presence is not unusual especially in winter. However the animals usually keep to themselves. 

The department urges people walking in the city's greenbelt areas to keep pets close and stick together if confronted by wolves. It also recommends carrying bear spray.


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