The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports on the closure of North Chagrin Reservation after a pair of aggressive female coyotes bit a bicyclist and a pet dog over the weekend. Officials have killed one of the coyotes which is believed to be protected its young.
Canoe reports a 23-year-old student in Canada’s Kananaskis Country Sheep River Wildlife Sanctuary survived a wrestling match with a cougar by throwing it off of him. Peter Bysterveld said he was walking with his girlfriend when the cougar — about the size of a dog — charged him. He fell and it bit his leg. He then stood up and picked it up by its legs and threw it. The cat then walked away.
Arizona Central reports prosecutors have refiled the second degree murder charges against Harold Fish who is accused of shooting an unarmed hiker in a dog confrontation at a Coconino County trailhead near Payson this spring.
KELO reports an outbreak of pneumonia has killed 175 of Custer State Park’s 200 Bighorn Sheep. It is believed to have been contracted from domestic sheep (which don’t get sick). The state may transplant more bighorns to replace them and suspend this year’s hunting season that offers three licenses for bighorn rams in the park.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that the popular alpha female in the Toklat wolf pack, which has delighted visitors to Denali National Park and Preserve for years, was killed by a trapper outside park boundaries. The radio-collared wolf was killed Feb. 11 by a trapper on state land on the Savage River within a few hundred feet of the park’s northeast boundary and on the outside edge of a wolf buffer zone created in 2001.
The 10 remaining wolves in the Toklat wolf pack, including the dead wolf’s mate and eight young produced in 2003 and 2004, went almost straightaway to the group’s den 13 miles away. The pack also includes an unrelated female that joined up last summer.
Denning this time of year is unusual, Haber said, and was likely an indication of confusion and stress within the pack.
Haber returned to the area the next day and saw the pack headed to the trapping area again. Once there, the alpha male headed to a ridge and howled repeatedly. “The next day they came right back to the trapping area again, with the alpha male leading… call-howling his mate,” he said.
It is likely the remaining wolves will continue to return to the area between now and the end of trapping season April 30.
Haber said he tried to convince the trapper to remove his traps but was not successful.
The Olympian reports Natalie Ann Chambers fell 350 feet after attempting to rescue her dog who had fallen on the trail near Mud Mountain Dam. She fell onto the ledge with her dog 15 feet below the trail before falling further. The dog survived.
The Anchorage Daily News reports a moose on the Denali Highway stomped to death the lead dog of an Iditarod musher. Ramey Smyth’s as he zipped the dog into his sled basket with the early evening fading into a 50 degree-below-zero night.
“I told him I loved him and not to forget me,” Smyth said. Mushers have reported numerous such encounters with moose in Alaska. The moose, Smyth said, “came down on him with both front feet, and then it just started with the rest of the team.” As the dogs rolled on, the moose came racing up the gangline, hooves flying, until it got to the sled. Smyth grabbed the only thing he had to defend himself — the ice hook used to anchor the team. “I smacked him with the ice hook,” Smyth said. And then the attack was over. Smyth watched the moose depart.