Crying wolf: Photos of ‘wolf’ in Bozeman are actually of Ala

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Crying wolf: Photos of ‘wolf’ in Bozeman are actually of Ala

Post by pawnee » Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:30 am


Crying wolf: Photos of ‘wolf’ in Bozeman are actually of Alaskan malamute
Photos of a canine trotting through a snow-covered field in south Bozeman have set off alarms that wolves have begun migrating out of mountains and into the Gallatin Valley.


But the pictures that have landed in e-mail boxes across the state and beyond, accompanied by subject lines like “Wolf in Bozeman city limits” and messages that say the “wolves” “were coming into town (Wednesday) chasing a small herd of elk,” are not of a gray wolf but an Alaskan malamute picked up 10 days ago by animal control, authorities say.

“It’s not a wolf,” said Lt. Rich McLane, who oversees the police department’s animal control division, after seeing the photos going around the Internet. “It is a malamute. It’s at Heart of the Valley and up for adoption.”

But photos of the dog that the animal shelter named “Mikhail” -- after communist leader Mikhail Gorbachev -- drew reaction akin to a red scare.

“We knew they would come down out of the mountains eventually, but I didn't think it would be this soon,” read one e-mail sent to the Chronicle with the two photos attached. “Everybody better keep their pets, kids and anything they don't want eaten inside the house!”


The wolf-dog mix-up is understandableThe online dog reference guide Dogster says malamutes “may look like lone wolves,” have a “wolf-like” expression and “probably descended from the wolf,” though its origins are obscure.

And Mel Frost, spokeswoman for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 3 in Bozeman, said that while the animal in the photos is most definitely a dog, a wolf coming near town is within the realm of possibility, given their population is growing.

“It wouldn’t be surprising if we had wolves on the outskirts of town, south of town and perhaps even north of town,” she said. “There have been reports of wolves south of town, but nothing has been confirmed.”

Frost said people should treat wolves like any other wildlife: don’t feed them, don’t leave food out if they are in the area and don’t provoke them.

“Wolves tend to be curious, but they tend to fear people,” she said.

If there is a close encounter, people should treat the wolves like they would a mountain lion -- try to appear big and make a lot of noise while slowly backing away from the area. And, all encounters with wolves should be reported to FWP, Frost said. That way the agency can start detecting patterns and determine whether wolves that are spotted are forming packs or just passing through.

“Generally speaking, a wolf has somewhere to be and somewhere to go,” she said. “Usually, that doesn’t involve people.”

Mikhail was adopted on Saturday, according to Heart of the Valley.

Daniel Person can be reached at dperson@dailychronicle.com or 582-2665
http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/ar ... 00wolf.txt


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Re: Crying wolf: Photos of ‘wolf’ in Bozeman are actually of Ala

Post by Wolf Runner1 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 3:17 pm

This is an interesting article. I'm glad it wasn't a wolf though and just a dog. I have heard some people say that they think they are seeing a wolf, when they are really seeing a dog or a coyote.
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Re: Crying wolf: Photos of ‘wolf’ in Bozeman are actually of Ala

Post by wolfgirl101z » Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:04 pm

I do agree that this article is very interesting and catchy. Thank you for sharing this with us pawnee!
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Re: Crying wolf: Photos of ‘wolf’ in Bozeman are actually of Ala

Post by Mercury » Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:57 pm

Very interesting thanks for posting! :) And I'm glad Mikhail got adopted.
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Re: Crying wolf: Photos of ‘wolf’ in Bozeman are actually of Ala

Post by +Arctic+ » Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:32 am

This is very interesting. Thanks for posting I love these articles that are posted sometimes!

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Re: Crying wolf: Photos of ‘wolf’ in Bozeman are actually of Ala

Post by Wolfwind » Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:24 pm

Interesting read, thanks for posting! ^^ People do ge the canids all mixed up alot, don't they? I once had someone telling me all about a pack of "coyotes" that was sniffing around their house and looking in their windows. I asked what they were like and the person described them as big, black and tan, and fairly short-haired. :lol: Perhaps something describing wolf and dog differences should be distributed in wolf and near-wolf areas.... xD

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Re: Crying wolf: Photos of ‘wolf’ in Bozeman are actually of Ala

Post by Averyln » Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:52 pm

I find it a little sad how the sight of a wolf or a creature that resembles one can cause so much panic. It's pretty rare that a wolf would ever approach a human, and rarer still that one would attack a human.

Wolf attacks on cattle, however, are quite a different story. But as far as I know, wolves typically stick to the prey they grew up on, and are hesitant to try new prey. This is probably why wolves that repeatedly hunt livestock near Yellowstone are put down.

Still, the sight of a wolf or similar creature shouldn't be all that alarming.
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Re: Crying wolf: Photos of ‘wolf’ in Bozeman are actually of Ala

Post by WolvesHorses » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:14 am

Seriously, I kept facepawing myself when I read 'Better keep your pets, kids, and anything you don't want eaten inside'.

What do people think, wolves are big eating machines that kill everything in sight? I know a lot of people here complain about that, but seriously.

If they live so near wolves, they should know at least a little about them instead of panicking and bringing up the 'big bad wolf' theory. :/
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Re: Crying wolf: Photos of ‘wolf’ in Bozeman are actually of Ala

Post by Cimba » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:24 pm

This bit made me laugh- 'chasing a small herd of elk'
forgive me if im wrong, but it shocks me to think people in near wolf areas think like that. I mean a lone 'wolf' chasing a small herd of elk? a) the wolfs not a sheepdog, is it not more likely to single one elk out, insead of wasting energy chasing all of them, and b) towards the town? a herd of elk thundering toward the town?

haha sorry that was probably a bit over the top but some people! :roll:

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Re: Crying wolf: Photos of ‘wolf’ in Bozeman are actually of Ala

Post by Alpha Female » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:42 pm

This article is very interesting. I'm glad its just a dog rather than a wolfdog.
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