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Vet Removes Snare From Neck of Wolf in Denali National Park and Preserve


Dr. Denise Albert was able to remove a snare from around a wolf's neck and treat the animal with antibiotics. NPS photo.

A volunteer effort has been able to remove a trapper's snare from around the neck of a wolf in Denali National Park and Preserve. Unfortunately, a second wolf that also was caught up in a snare has not been seen.

The wolves, their faces swollen, grotesquely so in one, were snared earlier this winter outside the park. Somehow they broke part of the cable and escaped, but the tightened loops around their necks remained. They recently returned to Denali.

The freed wolf, a large, gray male, had been spotted by several National Park Service employees last Thursday near Denali's Savage River Campground. On Friday park wildlife biologist Tom Meier and a local veterinarian, Dr. Denise Albert, were able to track the wolf from the air thanks to a fresh snowfall. The two located the wounded wolf on a ridge near the Savage River bridge, which is about 15 miles up the park road.

The animal was immobilized with a tranquilizer dart, and Dr. Albert cleaned the wound and administered antibiotics. While the snare was deeply embedded in the wolf’s neck, the wound was not badly infected and Dr. Albert believes the wolf will survive its injuries. Afterwards the wolf rejoined the smaller wolf that it was traveling with, which may be its mate. The pair of wolves was seen along the park road on Saturday and Sunday, and the injured wolf seems to be recovering.

The Park Service took this action as the injury to the wolf was not due to natural causes.

Park staffers had been attempting to locate and treat the animal since the injury was first reported in late February. There had been several sightings, but the animal would be gone by the time staff could get to the site.

The second wolf with a snare around its neck had been traveling with the East Fork wolf pack, but has not been seen recently.


Hey - How about some GOOD news for a change ?? This is GREAT !!

My deepest gratitude to the volunteers and to Dr. Denise Albert for their conscientious pursuit in finding this half strangulated wolf. Your efforts are most admired for it's conduct in the love of all "beautiful things large and small". A job well done!

Thank the Lord for the vet & volunteers who saved the wolf's life. I shed tears for this beautiful animal, when I read about the valiant effort. The moron who snared these wolves ought to be made to wear a tight snare around his/her neck. Yes...that's my opinion about those people. They're all just a waste of good oxygen!!

Many people think it's wrong to protect wolves and a total waste of time and money to provide medical treatment for injured ones. I can certainly understand that these people may be dismayed and angered when some wolf enthusiasts declare that people who harm wolves are utterly contemptible, or that wolves are more deserving of life than wolf-hating humans are. We at Traveler welcome comments from people on all sides of this complicated issue of wolf management, so don't hesitate to express alternative opinions and viewpoints. But no personal attacks, please. We've had to bar several comments on this topic that went pretty far over the line.

This article made me so very sad, even with the GREAT news that one of the two wolves was able to be cared for.
Why can't people let nature balance itself out and quit assuming that just because they bring in outside of nature animals that the government / law should side with them and allow this type of behavior to continue across the natural boundaries? Call me animal sensitive... but I think most of mankind should think more about how to reduce their populated numbers and their negative thoughts about controlling nature (which has done a pretty bang up job before mankind stepped in) for their own greedy needs before they continue stepping on nature's toes for the job. At least the natives had it right when they roamed this great country freely, they took only what they needed, and used all of the animal(s).... unfortunately as history has shown us time and time again
Never mind, I'm jumping off my soap box (from my small % of Cherokee-ness)... Thanks to everyone who is attempting (and winning) the overturning of wildlife abuse.

Lets you can bar the comments of the people who disagree that wolves lives are more valuable than ANY humans...even the trappers. But gleefully post the comments by the wackos who think a person should be killed because a wolf got caught in this trap. Yep, I certainly see how you welcome different viewpoints!!


What we aim to bar are comments that take direct personal attacks on others. We prefer to see comments rise above that level. Do we always succeed? Perhaps not as best we can. But some comments are so blatant in their personal attacks that the decision not to let them go through is easy.


It's been my experience with those who "edit" on this site that if you have a reasonable justification for your comments, and aren't purely testosterone and emotion, your feelings can and will be aired. Most of us learned early on in our formal education that all-encompassing terminology rarely, if ever, applies in any given set of circumstances. Such is the nature of the basis for stereotyping, the "one size fits all" commentary. Some have posted their personal notions that "our ancestors" knew better than do we and killed wolves because it was the "right thing to do". Maybe HIS ancestors acted in this manner, I don't know. Many of mine hold the wolf in a high place of reverence, a cunning, skilled hunter, worthy of high praise and emulation, a "brother from a different mother" I believe is how the modern saying goes. Killed them? Only under the most strict set of circumstances and never as a regular routine. Studied them, learned their habits, benefitted from that knowledge to be sure. Even copied them in many aspects. They're a great lesson in cooperative society, and display a highly functional family and social structure. They are an acknowledged master of their environment, with pack sizes readily regulated by environmental conditions (read in: availability of food and water sources, weather conditions, and other factors as regulated by Mother Nature). They're obviously far from "dumb animals". Our species more qualifies for that title to be sure.

Besides, where do believe your ever-lovin', most loyal "man's best friend" traces it's lineage to if not directly to Canis lupis?

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