Courtesy National Park ServiceA pack of wolves in Anchorage, Alaska surrounded three joggers and attacked one of their dogs last week, the latest in a series of wolf attacks in that city.
Seven or eight wolves were involved in the incident that took place along a popular stretch of road where the three women were jogging with two dogs.
The attack came out of nowhere, according to Alycia Beirgrohslein, one of the women involved.
"They were so quiet. They just came right up on us. They were quick. The dogs had no clue. They didn't smell them or hear them - nothing," she said.
As the snarling and howling wolves began to circle them, the women held tight to their dogs’ leashes, yelling and screaming as they backed away.
"As soon as we would turn our backs to try to go, they would run up on us, and we would turn around and start screaming again, and I would spray my pepper spray”, said Camas Barkemeyer, who’s dog was attacked by three of the wolves. The women made it safely back to their car but were shaken by the ordeal, and the dog had to undergo surgery to treat its wounds.
"They were not afraid of us," Barkemeyer said. "And I'm afraid that if I was out here by myself, they would attack me. They were not afraid."
The same wolves, known as the Elmendorf wolf pack, are suspected of killing another dog just hours earlier and less than a mile away. They may have also been involved with two other dog attacks in the last month. Thirteen years earlier, the Elmendorf pack had been involved in series of dog attacks in the same region. Those attacks decreased after wildlife officials trapped and killed the lead wolves.
Wolf attacks on chained dogs are fairly common in Alaska, especially in years of little snow. In those years, moose are harder to prey upon, and the hungry predators become more opportunistic. But what’s troublesome about the recent brazen attacks is that the usually human-shy wolves seem undeterred by their presence.
State officials are requesting the military and railroad workers to frighten off wolves with rubber bullets, buckshot, and pepper spray in order to put the fear of humans back into them.