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Wolves kill half-dozen sled dogs in Yukon River village

Marshall residents chase off predators after bold attack

Posted: Sunday, October 28, 2007

ANCHORAGE - A half-dozen sled dogs in the village of Marshall were killed by a pack of wolves roaming the Yukon River village, according to villagers and Alaska State Troopers.

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The wolves were chased off but not before they killed three adult dogs, including a female with pups. Three of the pups were also killed. Several other dogs were injured.

"They were running through the whole town here," said Dewayne Cooper, the housing improvement officer for the Native Village of Marshall. "They're not just hanging out by the dog teams. I don't know what they're looking for, but they're obviously not scared."

Marshall, with a population of about 390, is a largely subsistence village about 400 miles west of Anchorage on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.

A group of about 15 people killed at least one of the wolves and wounded several, said Maureen Larson, who works for the Marshall Traditional Council.

The wolves appeared in town Wednesday evening, when they were seen skulking near housing in the northeast portion of town, Larson said.

Some kids shot at them and scared them off, she said.

But around 8:30 p.m. they were back to begin their assault on three of the village's five dog teams, said musher Clem Kameroff, whose dogs were attacked.

Troopers got the report of the invading wolves Thursday morning, said wildlife trooper Sgt. Matt Dobson.

"I said, 'Go and get 'em. It's season,"' Dobson said. "We encourage people to hunt predators legally."

Dobson said the area near Marshall is rife with wolves because the moose population is exploding. But wolves are still generally shy and reclusive, he said, and a pack wandering into a town is "extremely unusual."



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