Either move or kill the wolf

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, March 25, 2005

The wording, assertions and tone of the article on the wolf killing the dog has left me feeling a bit incredulous.

First off, the Empire's choice of the words "apparently killed" and "presumed attack" seems to hint that maybe there was no attack in the first place, even though Mr. Huteson saw his dog in the wolf's mouth. Mr. Jans' comments also seem to hint at this when he asserts that "he's never seen it (the wolf) behave aggressively toward people or dogs even when they acted poorly or crowded him." Maybe the wolf hasn't acted aggressively up to this point, but it has now.

Matt Robus, the director of the Division of Wildlife Conservation then states, "Lots of people want to keep the wolf here. If we try to remove or kill the animal, we will get more criticism than the current situation. This is a no-win situation for us."

He then goes on to say, "They are dealing with wild animals, in this situation a wolf that just killed a dog. But that doesn't mean that we have to kill the wolf. It is people's responsibility to protect their dogs." Is Mr. Robus implying here that even though Fish and Game chose not to post any signs mentioning a wolf, this was perhaps Mr. Huteson's fault that his dog was killed?

Joel Bennett, a former member of the Alaska Board of Game states, "These wildlife opportunities allow a whole range of people in Juneau to see an animal they might never otherwise see. It's an extremely valuable experience and resource for hundreds and hundreds of people who have had it." I'm guessing, Mr. Bennett, that you probably would not include Mr. Huteson as one of those who had an extremely valuable experience.

As much as we all would like to turn this wolf into a cuddly children's bedtime animal, the fact will always be that it is a wild predator that killed a domesticated family pet. I wonder if the comments by the three gentlemen in the story would be the same if it was their dog that was killed?

Mr. Robus, how many more incidents (family pet or human) are needed before Fish and Game would deem the number sufficient to take action?

Personally, I believe one is enough and the wolf should either be relocated or killed.

Charley Larson


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