Wolf killed after attacking dog on edge of Hamilton

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Wolf killed after attacking dog on edge of Hamilton

Post by Blightwolf » Tue May 24, 2011 1:28 am

Wolf killed after attacking dog on edge of Hamilton
May 23, 2011

HAMILTON - Jason and Sarah Ekin's 5-year-old son loves to roam around their yard catching butterflies.

In her oversized white sunglasses, their 3-year-old daughter often makes a beeline from the front door to the backyard where the couple's three hunting dogs lounge.

But the Ekins say they will think twice before letting their kids wander around their home on the edge of Hamilton after last Saturday morning.

The couple was abruptly awakened shortly after 5 a.m. that day when their dogs let out a terrified bark.

"The sound just exploded from our backyard," Sarah said. "It sounded like they thought their lives were going to come to an end."

A moment later, they heard one of the dogs begin to yelp.

"I could tell that one of them was being hurt," Jason said. "I didn't know what was going on."

They peered out a large window and spotted the shape of a large black dog standing a few yards away from one of the dog houses.

"I told my wife that I thought it was a wolf," Jason said. "I told her to go get the gun. When I lifted the shade, he started to leave."

Jason went out onto the second-story deck with his rifle. At first, he thought the wolf had left, but minutes later it reappeared and walked to within 12 feet of the dog's house and stared inside at the 70-pound Walker hound.

"That wolf had to know that I was there, but he just didn't seem to care," Jason said. "It looked to me that he had come back to finish the job."

When the wolf turned broadside to him, Jason shot it.

The wolf flipped over once before falling dead on a patch of grass now stained reddish-brown. It died 34 yards from the couple's deck.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Warden Lou Royce said the shooting was justified.

"Under state and federal law, he's covered," Royce said. "He was defending his dog's life."

One dog was bitten during the wolf attack.

"I definitely could see a bite mark on the side of the dog," Royce said. "It was pretty stove up. It was obviously hurting a bit."

The wolf weighed 86 pounds. Royce said it was probably less than 2 years old.

***

FWP wolf biologist Liz Bradley said the wolf may have been a disperser from another pack.

"This kind of thing can happen any time of year," Bradley said. "Wolves see dogs as competitors. They are very territorial."

Royce and Bradley agreed that it is unusual for a wolf to show up in such a residential area so close to town.

The Ekins live on North Canyon Drive, which is just west of Hamilton and less than a mile from the city limits.

"I was surprised at how many houses there were right around their house," Royce said. "I thought maybe they lived in the trees when I got the call. Their dogs were all chained and near their house. I've never handled one exactly like this before."

On Monday, Sarah was scheduled to baby-sit three other young children at her home.

"I terrified about that actually," she said. "Do I even dare to let them go outside? I think we'll live in fear for a while before we get comfortable again. It's just not something that we would expect to have happen here."

Since Saturday, the couple has received a number of phone calls from neighbors who said they had seen the wolf near their own homes. Some called to report they had lost dogs or cats over the past couple of weeks. Others just wanted to thank Jason for killing the animal.

"I didn't do this because it was something I wanted to do," he said. "I did it because I had to do it to protect my dogs."

Source: http://missoulian.com/news/local/articl ... 002e0.html
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Re: Wolf killed after attacking dog on edge of Hamilton

Post by -- Silhouette -- » Tue May 31, 2011 6:20 pm

i don't know a whole lot about wolves, but i'll make my finest guesstimation for this.

i think the wolf was passing through, when the dogs started toward it, barking. The wolf most likely retaliated by defending itself in the only way it can -- with a bite. i don't think wolves are completely innocent, for they are wild animals, but human encroaching on wolf habitat is a huge part of all the attacks that happen.

i think the wolf, and the dogs, were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time -- and unfortunately both got harmed.


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Re: Wolf killed after attacking dog on edge of Hamilton

Post by Koa » Tue May 31, 2011 7:19 pm

-- Silhouette -- wrote:i don't know a whole lot about wolves, but i'll make my finest guesstimation for this.

i think the wolf was passing through, when the dogs started toward it, barking. The wolf most likely retaliated by defending itself in the only way it can -- with a bite. i don't think wolves are completely innocent, for they are wild animals, but human encroaching on wolf habitat is a huge part of all the attacks that happen.

i think the wolf, and the dogs, were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time -- and unfortunately both got harmed.


xx Athalie
"Wolves see dogs as competitors. They are very territorial."
I wouldn't see to it that the encounter was more "innocent" on the wolf's part... Wolves are territorial (especially around dogs) it may be an understatement to say "The wolf most likely retaliated by defending itself in the only way it can -- with a bite." and because of the territorial fact, the wolf may have been a bit more offensive rather than defensive - what do you think Blightwolf?
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Re: Wolf killed after attacking dog on edge of Hamilton

Post by Blightwolf » Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:43 am

Koa wrote:
-- Silhouette -- wrote:i don't know a whole lot about wolves, but i'll make my finest guesstimation for this.

i think the wolf was passing through, when the dogs started toward it, barking. The wolf most likely retaliated by defending itself in the only way it can -- with a bite. i don't think wolves are completely innocent, for they are wild animals, but human encroaching on wolf habitat is a huge part of all the attacks that happen.

i think the wolf, and the dogs, were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time -- and unfortunately both got harmed.


xx Athalie
"Wolves see dogs as competitors. They are very territorial."
I wouldn't see to it that the encounter was more "innocent" on the wolf's part... Wolves are territorial (especially around dogs) it may be an understatement to say "The wolf most likely retaliated by defending itself in the only way it can -- with a bite." and because of the territorial fact, the wolf may have been a bit more offensive rather than defensive - what do you think Blightwolf?
I'm on the same wavelength with Koa. When it comes to wolves and other canids, their behavior rarely has a defensive connotation - it's nearly always offensive. It's common for wolves to show deliberate aggression toward a non-familiar conspecific. Dogs can represent both an available prey animal as well as a competitor, and in this case I believe it was the latter. Territoriality is a hardwired instinct, and aggression is a part of it. When wolves confront an intruder (be it another wolf, a fox, a coyote, or a domestic dog), their first instinct is to fend off the other canine. If you've seen wolf documentaries where wolves (or usually the dominant wolf) are chasing a non-related canid out of the territory, you can also see how relentless wolves are when doing this; even when the other animal has been successfully driven from the territory, the territorial wolf may still continue to chase it until it has the chance to caught up with it and ultimately kill it.
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Re: Wolf killed after attacking dog on edge of Hamilton

Post by -- Silhouette -- » Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:02 pm

I just found it odd that a wolf would act territorial around a place that isn't his ^-^ Thanks for clearing it up though.

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Re: Wolf killed after attacking dog on edge of Hamilton

Post by Blightwolf » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:34 am

-- Silhouette -- wrote:I just found it odd that a wolf would act territorial around a place that isn't his ^-^ Thanks for clearing it up though.
The wolf's territory could've been near the area where the attack took place, situated close to the perimeter. Wolves also hold specific "buffer zones" around their territories, which are usually highly contested areas, and can be over 2 km wide. The wolf may or may not have attacked out of territoriality, but in any case it would've not ignored the dog. Wolves don't usually leave many options to those they find on their territory lines or view as potential prey.
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Re: Wolf killed after attacking dog on edge of Hamilton

Post by HU Lisa » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:18 pm

-- Silhouette -- wrote:i don't know a whole lot about wolves, but i'll make my finest guesstimation for this.

i think the wolf was passing through, when the dogs started toward it, barking. The wolf most likely retaliated by defending itself in the only way it can -- with a bite. i don't think wolves are completely innocent, for they are wild animals, but human encroaching on wolf habitat is a huge part of all the attacks that happen.

i think the wolf, and the dogs, were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time -- and unfortunately both got harmed.


xx Athalie
I completely agree. It was the dogs instinct to bark and the wolf had been alarmed so it attacked. Sadly, that's how Mother Nature works sometimes and nobody can argue with Big Mama...
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Re: Wolf killed after attacking dog on edge of Hamilton

Post by Violet-Shadow-Master » Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:39 pm

I was very close to that area just a few days ago, I will asks ome friends if they know anything
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