Wolf Killed on Alaska Military Land Due to Public Safety Concerns

Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&FG) staff killed a
wolf in the area of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) near
Eagle River and Chugiak on Jan. 12.

ADF&G and Military officials have been cooperating to reduce
the number of wolves on the base after reports of wolves
approaching and threatening people. ADF&G and JBER biologists
are using progressively more intense methods beginning with
opportunistic shooting and then trapping. Officials will reevaluate
the approach at the end of January.

Wolves in the area have displayed increasingly habituated and
aggressive behavior towards humans and have killed or injured dogs
and other livestock.

“It’s not common for wolves to become aggressive toward people,
but when they do, it’s a public safety issue,” said Regional
Supervisor, Mark Burch. “While wolf attacks on humans are rare,
this lack of fear and aggression is the kind of behavior seen by
wolves that have attacked people in the past so we are doing what
we can to minimize the risks.”

People on the military base can minimize their risk of a wolf
encounter by walking dogs in the populated areas. People should
travel in groups, stay on well-used roads and always keep dogs on a
leash. If approached by a wolf or wolves, stay calm, and don’t run,
but do act aggressively toward the wolf. Air horns or bear spray
can help deter advancing wolves. Always be alert when traveling in
wolf habitat; do not wear ear plugs or head phones. Children should
always be accompanied by an adult when walking in areas where
wolves are known to roam.

For detailed information about coexisting with wolves,
preventing habituation, and staying safe in wolf country, visit

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