Candice Berner: The First Fatal Wolf Attack of the 2010's

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Candice Berner: The First Fatal Wolf Attack of the 2010's

Post by Tarbtano » Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:51 pm

There has never been a fatal wolf attack in North America!
-Howling For Justice administer, a extremely pro-wolf group
………

Candice Berner was a special Education teacher and avid jogger who died in March of 2010. Her body was found dead along a road near Chignik Lake, Alaska, a village about 475 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska. Snowmobilers found her mutilated body with animal tracks in the adjacent snow. Her injuries included extensive lacerations and hamstringing on her face, neck, stomach; and legs. Autopsy also revealed her body was also partially consumed, with obvious tooth marks on several bones. This woman suffered a violent and painful death, to a predator that began eating her while she was very likely still alive. The method of the attack, the way the body was butchered, the track ways; and the location all pointed to the killer being several wolves.

But no sooner than this was stated, that attacks against Ms. Berner, in the name of protecting wolves, as well as excuses for the wolves’ behavior began to pour in from all directions. This thread is specifically addressed to those who defended the wolf's conduct, and to those who wish to know the truth behind this incident. The full facts of the case have finally been released. Wolves were the culprits. And as you will see, no, they were not really hybrids, or rabid, or acting in self defense.

A good friend and mentor of mine has organized this entry in a way responding to all the questions which, until now, had been left unanswered. Questions are written in normal font, while the segments of the report are in italics.


1. Were wolves regularly hunted prior to the attack? (Hunting wolves is the time-proven method of keeping wolves fearful of humans)

Human use of wolves in the Chignik Lake area is low. Mandatory sealing documented the harvest of a few wolves during the last decade, but no wolves have been sealed in recent years. p.6


2. Were there any other animal tracks on the scene? (Coyote, mountain lion, bear, dog etc.)

Animal tracks along the sides of the road and in the area of the attack were identified as wolf tracks based on the size of individual tracks. Although some very large dog breeds leave tracks similar in size to wolves (Harris and Ream 1983), only small- to medium-sized dogs were observed in the community by Butler. No animal tracks were observed between the site of the attack and the community of Chignik Lake and no dog tracks were observed beyond the immediate perimeter of the Chignik Lake community. Additionally, none of the wolf tracks observed was of a size, stride length or stride pattern that could be confused with any other canid (dog-like) species in the area. p. 9



3. Could the wolves have been acting defensively?

No evidence was found that the wolves acted defensively during the attack. A reconnaissance of the area did not detect any animal kill sites that the wolves might have been defending. p. 11
In addition, wolves are not known to kill in self defense, or in the defense of a carcass and/or pups. In any of these situations, wolves will flank and nip at the aggressor to drive it away; never going for a potentially lethal neck or face bite



4. Were the wolves habituated? (The findings here surprised me...)

No evidence was found that the wolves were habituated to people. Residents of Chignik Lake did report encounters with wolves in the weeks preceding the attack, but none of the encounters involved direct interaction with the wolves and interactions were unremarkable. The reports commonly described a group of people seeing two to four wolves at a distance. The wolves occasionally watched the people for a short time before moving away. No attempts were made to pursue or harass the wolves even though people were concerned by the sightings. Several residents stated that no one had attempted to feed or approach the wolves for any reason. Those types of encounters are typical of most human-wolf interactions in Alaska. p. 11-12


5. Could feral dogs have been culprits?

Feral dogs were not involved in the attack, based on the size of the tracks at the site of the attack. Dogs in the community of Chignik Lake were small to medium sized and appeared well-socialized to investigators. Though often left to wander the village unattended, dogs rarely left the immediate vicinity of the community... p. 12


6. Could the wolves have been sick?

All eight of the culled wolves tested negative for rabies and distemper. The histopathology reports from the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (Washington State University, Pullman, Washington) found parasites that are considered clinically insignificant. No conditions were found that would have predisposed these animals towards aggressive behavior. When viewed as a representative sample of the wolf population in the vicinity of Chignik Lake, these findings greatly reduce the possibility that the wolves involved in the attack were in an abnormal condition that would have predisposed these wolves to an attack. Six of the eight wolves culled were in good to excellent condition. p. 16



7. Was there any DNA evidence of dog or wolf-dog hybrid involvement?

Nuclear and mitochondrial DNA analyses of the 20 forensic samples that could be used for individual identification found no evidence of wolf-dog hybridization. Although domestic dog DNA was found in two hairs left on the victim’s clothing (from among the 22 low quality samples that could not be used to determine animal identity), these two hairs were found from a location on the victim’s clothing that did not imply participation in the attack. All recoverable DNA associated with samples taken from areas on the victim related to the attack were from wolves. Thus, while domestic dog DNA was recovered from hair samples taken from the victim’s clothing, dogs were not associated with the attack. DNA evidence from the bite marks on the deceased was identified as wolf DNA. p. 17


8. Could the wolves have been starving?

Based on the body condition of the wolves culled and on the number of prey species (moose and snowshoe hares) observed in the area, starvation or severe hunger were probably not factors in the attack. However, the amount of time since the wolves’ last meal is unknown. p. 18

http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/home/ ... tality.pdf


When one looks as the facts, it’s not at all hard to accept wolves were the culprits; and that this was a classic case of an intentional, predatory attack. Wolves can and do see humans as potential (and relatively easy to kill) prey. I should also note that this is not the first fatal wolf attack. There are literally hundreds upon thousands more.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolf_attac ... mans#1800s
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Re: Candice Berner: The First Fatal Wolf Attack of the 2010'

Post by Overcast » Sat Jan 28, 2012 2:16 pm

Moral of the story: wolves will be wolves. And Tarbtano dislikes wolfaboos :lol: !

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Re: Candice Berner: The First Fatal Wolf Attack of the 2010'

Post by Chemuhk » Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:22 pm

Hmm, this doesn't sound very good. There obviously was some reason for the attack, but in light of the evidence it was clearly not the human's fault. It's probably good that this kind of thing is relatively rare, so we'll just have to see how this turns out.
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Re: Candice Berner: The First Fatal Wolf Attack of the 2010'

Post by Tita » Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:28 pm

I feel uneasy and unnerved after reading this. Like Overcast said; wolves will be wolves. But I wonder: why did they attack? Anyhow, thanks for sharing, Tarbtano.
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Re: Candice Berner: The First Fatal Wolf Attack of the 2010'

Post by Kivia » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:10 pm

Thus the reason why I know longer have an infatuation with wolves because they are "misunderstood". It's important to see both sides of the story, and it's stories like this that continue to make me realize that wolves are, like Overcast said, wolves. They are predators, end of story.

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Re: Candice Berner: The First Fatal Wolf Attack of the 2010'

Post by Tarbtano » Mon Jan 30, 2012 7:09 am

Chemuhk wrote:Hmm, this doesn't sound very good. There obviously was some reason for the attack, but in light of the evidence it was clearly not the human's fault. It's probably good that this kind of thing is relatively rare, so we'll just have to see how this turns out.

Well the straight answer I can give you in not a popular one.

Wolves will be wolves, a being a wolf does include seeing humans as potential prey items. Its not abnormal for a perfectly healthy, hungry (not necessarily starving, just hungry) wolf with large amounts of natural prey around it to see a human walk by and think

"food"

With the exception a few cases, a vast majority of fatal wolf attacks were predatory acts committed by perfectly healthy wolves. Wolves never kill in the defense of a carcass or, as devoted as we like to think wolves are; pups


So the reason for the attack is just simply you have a predator unafraid of humans (due to no hunting laws), who saw humans as food; and this poor woman was in the wrong place at the wrong time
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Re: Candice Berner: The First Fatal Wolf Attack of the 2010'

Post by La Striata » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:21 am

*applauds*

The love for wolves must no longer be conditional to the idea that wolves are somehow special among large mammalian carnivores. There are people who have tigers, lions, bears or hyenas as favourite animals. The majority of these people accept that these animals, even though they are dependent on conservation and good PR, pose a real danger to people, even when healthy and unprovoked. The same healthy appreciation for the risks entailed in these animals should extend to wolves also.
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Re: Candice Berner: The First Fatal Wolf Attack of the 2010'

Post by Alpha Female » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:45 am

La Striata wrote:*applauds*
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Re: Candice Berner: The First Fatal Wolf Attack of the 2010'

Post by Tarbtano » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:19 pm

Thank you everyone for your kind and intelligent comments. And if you wish to thank the author of this article, the 'man of the hour'; shoot the memo to La Striata. He wrote most of this out, I just added a few bits here and there.
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Re: Candice Berner: The First Fatal Wolf Attack of the 2010'

Post by BlackWarrior » Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:05 pm

Wow, quite a story.
I'm agreeing with many of you, wolves will be wolves. This certainly wasn't an attack made because of starvation or even defense, but as Tarbtano stated; it could have been simply because they saw this human as easy prey that didn't seem as a threat. I personally think that when the wolves were spotted hanging around in the first place, something should have been done to deal with them.
This women was definitely unlucky for her timing and it comes to mind that something may have set the wolves off.
thanks for sharing this Tarbtano! Very interesting read. ^^
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Re: Candice Berner: The First Fatal Wolf Attack of the 2010'

Post by Koa » Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:21 pm

While this has the potential to be one of those controversial topics, I applaud everyone for keeping it civil.
Logical and cohesive points made by both of you as always. ^-^

I concur with the theme of that wolves are predators like every other animal so common to us all. Little to say at the moment because it has already been summed up, haha.
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Re: Candice Berner: The First Fatal Wolf Attack of the 2010'

Post by Kyrarah » Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:35 am

I've already watched this on TV, Tartabano. The reason ahs already been discovered. The woman was running and the wolves were walking around, looking for soemthing to eat. She was lsitening to music, so she didn't notice them. They started to chase her, and she continued running, acting like a prey, wicth lighted their predator instinc, and they attacked her. The wolves were living around the village of this place in Alaska, eating rubbish, and probably some kids or not-warned adults fed them up, which could have maken them used to humans. In anyway, the reason ahs already been discovered. Cheers!

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Re: Candice Berner: The First Fatal Wolf Attack of the 2010'

Post by elk hunting grounds » Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:40 pm

Probably not a smart idea to be wandering around in known wolf territory, not paying attention. But, sad that it happened. :(

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Re: Candice Berner: The First Fatal Wolf Attack of the 2010'

Post by Tarbtano » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:40 pm

Probably not a smart idea to be wandering around in known wolf territory, not paying attention. But, sad that it happened. :(
People do it all the time in Yellowstone. A grave ignorance of our generation is that wolves never attack people. And the attack happened remarkably close to town, in areas wolves had only very recently moved through. It was not wolf territory


Kyrarah wrote: I've already watched this on TV, Tartabano. The reason ahs already been discovered. The woman was running and the wolves were walking around, looking for soemthing to eat. She was lsitening to music, so she didn't notice them. They started to chase her, and she continued running, acting like a prey, wicth lighted their predator instinc, and they attacked her. The wolves were living around the village of this place in Alaska, eating rubbish, and probably some kids or not-warned adults fed them up, which could have maken them used to humans. In anyway, the reason ahs already been discovered. Cheers!

I don't know if you put special emphasis on my name and misspelled it on accident or meant it as an insult; nor do I care.

Anywho, I'd like to know the name of this program; as its adaption of the attack includes traits that go against every official report given of the incident.
Wolves were living in the forested areas a good ways outside of town, but only recently began moving towards the settlement. There was no evidence any of the canines were fed by or in any other way interacted with the residents, so this was indeed a wild, unaltered; predatory attack.

And the purpose of this article was not stating what everyone already knew (that wolves killed this woman), but to dispel many myths that had been put out by those trying to vouch for the wolf (by shifting the blame to other sources, saying the attack was defensive; etc.)
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Re: Candice Berner: The First Fatal Wolf Attack of the 2010'

Post by Kyrarah » Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:52 pm

Sorry about that. Your username sounds like a word in Portuguese, so I've been spelling your name wrong for a long time. Spelling it wrong wasn't right or kind of my part - I apologize.

The documentary I watched was a programme named Human Prey, I guess. I advice you to search on Portuguese Wikypedia for Presa Humana and then change the article for it. The episode's name was Wolves, if my memory is working well. I watched on NatGeo Wild. :3

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