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#197911 - 03/13/10 06:30 AM Fatal wolf attack in Alaska
raven397 Offline
Stranger

Registered: 03/31/07
Posts: 16
hi all, I lived in Alaska for 25 years, and I still keep up with the news there daily.

A teacher was killed several days ago while running outside of the village of Chignik Lake, on the Alaska Peninsula. Apparently she was running alone, listing to her IPod, and 2 or 3 wolves attacked and killed her.

an updated story at http://www.adn.com/2010/03/12/1181123/wh...g&pageNum=1

The Anchorage Daily News claims that this is the first documented killing of a human in Alaska history. Natives say that wolves have killed in the past.

there may be analogies to recent cougar attacks in the west, with generations of limited human aggression towards wolves.

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#197912 - 03/13/10 07:11 AM Re: Fatal wolf attack in Alaska [Re: raven397]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
Sad to hear of anyone dying but I think it is healthy for humans to feel that we are not invulnerable. Humility in knowing we are part of the ecosystem, not masters by default, is IMO healthy. Our position at the top of the food chain is provisional and dependent on our being smart and aware. Or at least not blindly unaware of our surroundings in our own I-pod induced haze.

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#197920 - 03/13/10 12:30 PM Re: Fatal wolf attack in Alaska [Re: Art_in_FL]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4589
Loc: SOCAL
Yep, nothing like a total lack of SA to get a person killed -- wolves, heavy machinery, driving while texting. . .the list is endless.

So was this food or fun? (for the wolves that is)

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#197921 - 03/13/10 01:37 PM Re: Fatal wolf attack in Alaska [Re: Russ]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1314
Originally Posted By: Russ
Yep, nothing like a total lack of SA to get a person killed -- wolves,


When I lived up north, the last year before moving, wolves would cut through our property 30 feet from the house. They would hug the tree line as they moved and if you did not watch very carefully, you would never sense their presence due to them blending into the environment. We would marvel and always had a sense of wonder how a pack of wolves could be almost invisible even in daylight.

Like any animal that stalks it's prey, wolves are extremely quiet and steathly in their movments and the target human or animal does not stand a chance if the wolves decide to pounce.

You can have all situatonal awareness possible, but if you cannot see or detect the wolves, then the tragic enevietable can. A person walking or jogging along a road will never see the wolves behind them if the wolves have any type of cover or concealment to use while they stalk...especially this time of year as the attack occurred in the evening under the cover of possible fading light and dusk/dark.
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#197924 - 03/13/10 01:55 PM Re: Fatal wolf attack in Alaska [Re: Teslinhiker]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5987
Loc: southern Cal
I recall that one of the successful cougar attacks was inflicted on a runner. Haven't I heard that running triggers the prey response in predators?
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#197927 - 03/13/10 02:20 PM Re: Fatal wolf attack in Alaska [Re: hikermor]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1314
Originally Posted By: hikermor
I recall that one of the successful cougar attacks was inflicted on a runner. Haven't I heard that running triggers the prey response in predators?


That is correct. The simplest form to see this is with a dog (though domesticated, is still a predator). Walk by a dog, he may have no inclination to follow you. Run by this same dog, his predatory instincts triggers the prey response and will now chase after you.
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#197933 - 03/13/10 06:16 PM Re: Fatal wolf attack in Alaska [Re: Teslinhiker]
raven397 Offline
Stranger

Registered: 03/31/07
Posts: 16
Running will definitely trigger an attack in wolves or bears, doubtless also in cougars.
the Anchorage Daily News has the most detailed coverage, at www.adn.com I did a search using "Chignik" as the search term,
and it brought up all the stories.

this was a really sad event. the victim was fron Pennsylvania, she arrived in Alaska last fall to teach in special ed. She traveled among 5 villages on the Alaska Peninsula. she probably lacked enough awareness of the risks involved in running away from the village settlement.

I would blame the villagers somewhat for not warning her more, one of the stories indicated that wolves were hanging close to the houses, which would suggest a starvation factor driving them. wolves normally avoid people and houses.

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#197936 - 03/13/10 07:19 PM Re: Fatal wolf attack in Alaska [Re: raven397]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
"You can have all situatonal awareness possible, but if you cannot see or detect the wolves..."

SOME situational awareness is probably what has caused the dearth of killings by wolves. This woman was running, virtually blind, deaf and dumb, an easy, yummy target. It's hard to blame wolves or bears or cougars for acting like wild animals when fresh meat is delivered to them, totally oblivious to everything. Self-served sacrificial lamb, so to speak.

This was an educator who apparently went to Alaska, knowing nothing about the dangers. Yeah, sure.

I won't say the "D" word, I won't, I won't... (gritting teeth).

Sue

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#197940 - 03/13/10 07:51 PM Re: Fatal wolf attack in Alaska [Re: Susan]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1314
Originally Posted By: Susan

SOME situational awareness is probably what has caused the dearth of killings by wolves. This woman was running, virtually blind, deaf and dumb, an easy, yummy target.


I don't recall seeing any news articles that describes the woman running "virtually blind, deaf and dumb." If you make these kind of remarks, then provide a link to verifiable references. You were not there, you are obviously not privy to all the facts, yet you are ready to criticize what you do not understand...

Yes she was a target whether it be to hungry wolves, territorial bears or hyenas. When you step foot into the wilderness, be prepared as you are in their world and always a potential target. It could be your last trip no matter how careful and aware you are as animals are a lot smarter then us.
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#197943 - 03/13/10 09:29 PM Re: Fatal wolf attack in Alaska [Re: Teslinhiker]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5987
Loc: southern Cal
This is a really fine forum, in my opinion, and I have learned a lot from the generally civil and informative posts that characterize the lively discourse. Many contributors have a lot of knowledge which they contribute in a very positive manner, going much deeper than the usual fairly superficial newspaper article.

But every once in a while we descend into uninformed speculation, and that is a shame.
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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