Yakutat Tlingat Tribe, Alaska


"We have always been leery of wolves because we knew it could happen," Poppy Harris, tribal council administrator in the Interior community of McGrath, said of the April 26 wolf attack on 6-year-old John Stenglein. It has sides lining up once again in the battle over whether Alaska needs state-run wolf control. Gov. Tony Knowles, opposed to such a program without strong public support, won't change his position because of the incident at Icy Bay logging camp, said a spokesman. The attack has state wildlife biologists and wolf experts scratching their heads, especially since the animal was not rabid and had been hanging around since 1998. Two boys and a dog were playing when it attacked, said Mike Thompson, father of the second boy. When the wolf approached and began growling, the children ran and the wolf chased them, knocking both to the ground. The wolf was driven off by thrown rocks. Thompson used a rabbit-in-distress call to bring him back and killed him with one shot between the eyes. "He came right in without hesitation." The boy needed a half-dozen stitches to close puncture wounds. Thompson, who has four children, said just because one wolf behaved this way doesn't mean they all should be condemned. He's much more concerned about bears that have charged people.