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Wolf sighting near Niven
Residents should take precautions: ENR

Svjetlana Mlinarevic
Northern News Services
Published Tuesday, November 27, 2012

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE
To say that Yellowknife is an island in a sea of wilderness wouldn't be an understatement for Kristan Leggett, a recent arrival to Yellowknife who encountered a pair of wolves on Niven Lake Thursday night.

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New arrival to Yellowknife Kristan Leggett photographed this wolf while out for a stroll on Niven Lake last Thursday. "People have to remember that wolves live in the wild areas around the City of Yellowknife and often when you see them they are just moving through," said Judy McLinton, manager of public affairs and communications, for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. - photo courtesy of Kristan Leggett

"I'm new to Yellowknife, I moved here from Ottawa, so that was my first big wildlife sighting so I was pretty excited," said Leggett, who spotted the wolves near Moyle Drive.

"My boyfriend, he's born and raised here so he was more like, 'This is really dangerous, they shouldn't be in this area at all because there's people walking.' So, we called to report them."

Leggett, who lives near Tin Can Hill after moving here in August, was taking her 11-month-old son for a ride at around 10 p.m. because he couldn't sleep. As she and her boyfriend, Alastair Gamble, were standing outside their car looking at a new condo development being built, they were informed by another driver that there were wolves in the area, whereupon Leggett and Gamble got back into the car.

"There was one, not in the picture, he was darker, he was in the play yard on Moyle and he looked at us and ran away and then we turned to the other side of the street and there was that white one just looking at us. So we pulled over and I took a picture through the car window and then he crossed the street to follow his friend and they took off," said Leggett.

"It was crazy! It's just like how you see them in the movies, like the big wolf face. The (dark) one was a lot bigger and burlier For me it was like, 'Oh my God! A wolf! Look how beautiful he is!' (My boyfriend's) like, 'They're scary.'"

"People have to remember that wolves live in the wild areas around the City of Yellowknife and often when you see them they are just moving through," said Judy McLinton, manager of public affairs and communications, for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

"What they need to do is make sure they take precautions to make sure wolves or other wildlife don't come into their yards or neighbourhoods. And keep their dogs on a leash when they're walking them."

McLinton said resource officers should be called if the wolves show they are not afraid of people or if they appear to be acting strangely. She said there have been 14 reported wolf sightings since April 2010, with one wolf being destroyed at the Yellowknife dump. McLinton cautions that some of the reported sightings could have been coyotes or dogs.

Maxim Bloudov of Peace River Flats reported seeing wolves on Back Bay, not far from Niven Lake, at the beginning of the month.

A wolf pack was also seen hanging around the community of Gameti, 237 km northwest of Yellowknife this month.

Wolves mainly feed on large game but their diet can also include hares, foxes, small rodents, beaver, muskrat, birds, fish, eggs, or vegetable matter. Adult male wolves average about 35 to 40 kg, while females are smaller, at about 30 to 35 kg, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources website.

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