Officials warn of wolves roaming in Cooke City

Print Article

A gray wolf walks through the woods in Glacier National Park in the North Fork in this file photo. (Inter Lake file)

Two weeks ago, wolves killed a domestic dog at night outside of a home in Cooke City, outside of Yellowstone National Park, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Wolves have also been seen repeatedly on streets in Cooke City, including Main Street, side streets, and the Bannock Trail.

The sightings in town that the department is aware of have been at night, but at this point, officials have no reports of wolves in the area approaching humans. Fish, Wildlife and Parks is monitoring the situation.

Montana law allows citizens to protect themselves, livestock, and dogs from wolves. If a wolf is on private property and is posing a potential threat to human safety, livestock, or dogs, a landowner may kill a wolf without a license. On public or private land, a person may kill a wolf that is in the act of attacking, killing, or threatening a person or livestock, or attacking or killing a domestic dog. The landowner must report these incidents to the department.

Officials said pet owners in Cooke City and Silver Gate should avoid allowing their dogs to run freely, especially at night. When walking them, pet owners should keep dogs on a leash and in lighted areas.

“As with mountain lions and bears, when we see wild animals approaching people, there is concern for human safety. We don’t like to have to kill wildlife, but sometimes we don’t have any other choice,” said Mark Deleray, Fish, Wildlife and Parks regional supervisor in Bozeman. “We are not there yet with these wolves – although they have been in and around town. We will continue to assess the situation, do our best to track current wolf behavior, and base our future actions on that assessment.”

The department said the wolves’ behavior is concerning. Their presence among buildings in Cooke City increases their likelihood of injuring or killing another pet, and exposure to human development and surroundings leaves them vulnerable to escalating habituation, such as getting fed or a food reward.

To date, the state agency has no evidence of feeding or baiting wolves in the area. Feeding wildlife is illegal, and in the case of predators, it can be dangerous. All pet food should be kept indoors.

Print Article

Read More Local News

Chocolate Extravaganza winners announced

December 05, 2019 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake The new Flathead County Republican Women’s Chocolate Extravaganza took place Dec. 3. After a two-year break in the 35-year-old Chocolate Extravaganza tradition, an enthusiastic new group of Republic...

Comments

Read More

Whitefish names new city manager

December 05, 2019 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake The Whitefish City Council on Monday approved Dana Smith as the new City Manager. The council unanimously approved an employment contract for Smith to fill the city’s top executive position. Sinc...

Comments

Read More

Whitefish to debut City Hall sculpture tonight

December 05, 2019 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake The city of Whitefish will host an unveiling for a new bronze sculpture adorning the outside of Whitefish City Hall tonight at 5:30 p.m. The sculpture is called “Harmony Waters” and was made by l...

Comments

Read More

Northwest Montana ski areas ramp up for winter season

December 05, 2019 at 5:00 am | Daily Inter Lake Winter may be slow to arrive in the valleys, but skiers can still rejoice as the first local ski area opens some of its slopes Friday morning. Whitefish Mountain Resort will open as scheduled on th...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 755-7000
727 East Idaho
Kalispell, MT 59901

©2019 Daily Inter Lake Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X