Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Juneau's pet wolf

"The adventures of Romeo the wolf and one lucky pug"

I wish I could have been there, but these photos aren't mine. They were sent to the Juneau Empire today by a local photographer who wishes to remain anonymous because of the sensitive nature of the photos, and because (I've heard) that dog belongs to a family member who would be fairly distraught if she found out what happened. But I'm guessing she's going to find out. These photos are gold, and I'm sure they'll be distributed far and wide over the Internet soon enough.

I've seen this wolf before - a couple of times, actually - running across the frozen Mendenhall Lake. The locals call him "Romeo." He's a fairly habituated "city" wolf, and has been known to approach groups of dogs and even play with them. I've never heard of him carrying off a dog before, but a co-worker speculates that he mistook that squatty little white dog for a rabbit. Once he got his mouth around it and tasted ... ewww, dog ... he spit the pug back out on the snow. Word is the pug got right back up and was apparently fine, if not a little shaken.

Juneau is probably one of the few cities in the country where wolves live in such close proximity to a (semi) urban area. It creates a whole new dynamic of human habituation because wolves are such social animals. You can't really blame them if they want to play with your dogs. But it's good to see they're still respectful enough of their little cousins to not make them dinner.


  1. Yeah, I couldn't believe these pics when the photographer showed these to my wife and I a couple of nights ago (still in their Cannon digital Camera)

    It's simply amazing, We live most likely a mile or two just south of you. We've got an Irish Setter, and even then we're wary of the critters that make a home out of the Great WET North here, that we go leash less in wide open, busy areas only, such as the beach or at the office .. I just don't feel secure enough especially with spring coming up on us, and the wildlife waking up and looking for some food.

    I realize that a 60lbs Irish is a bit heavy to hoist, but as we saw last week, with the Eagle and the power outage, it's not from the lack of trying. heh

    The Pug is VERY lucky to still be here. it's interesting to note, that Romeo didn't kill right away but yet was taking him somewhere.

    Which isn't to say he would have killed him.. possibly he would have treated him as an ugly pup he and the Mrs had, and adopted him, he looks like he's carrying the pug by the scruff, so as to not hurt him. *lol*

    Who knows.. it will just be another footnote to Romeos growing legend here.

  2. We have a similar situation here with the coyotes, especially now that we are in the negative values on the thermometer. People will let their small dogs and cats out and the coyotes will come out of the woods and grab them. I have never seen it quite as graphic as this but I have seen the aftermath. Thanks for sharing this.

  3. WOW! How long have you lived in Juneau? We have 2 Jack Russell Terriers and a German Shepherd. The JRs would have probably wanted "hunt" the wolf. JRs have a mind of their own.

  4. You live in a very cool place.

  5. Wow! That wolf must be a bit confused. Are they appreciated in Alaska or do people just see them as a pest? It seems they have been wiped out across most of Europe and America.
    Here in Darwin we get Dingos in town and on the beaches and they have been known to kill dogs. Having grown up down in Melbourne where there is very little native wildlife left I always wanted to live somewhere wild enough for dingos to survive. We are lucky to still have stories to tell of these things. I've even seen one wandering around near the airport car park! This week a crocodile was discovered in one of our public swimming pools. The local paper's greatest joy. :)

  6. Apologies for double posting.
    Dingos are considered a naturalized/native dog. They entered Australia a couple of thousand years ago with people. Prior to their arrival we actually had marsupial carnivores but I suppose the wild dog competed with them for food. There were still Tasmanian Tigers in Tasmania when white settlers arrived because the dingo never made it across Bass strait. The tigers were driven to extinction because they competed with our interests.

  7. Awesome photos! I adore wolves. We, unfortunately, don't have wolves around here, but we do have coyotes, something that really excites my dog. It looks like, in the top photo, that the two dogs head-to-head are domestic dogs--when I enlarged the pic, I thought I could see a collar on one. I think it is so cool that the wolf comes down to romp around with the dogs.

  8. Looked like just rough canine play rather than a potential snack. I've seen larger dogs do the same thing and it seems to be just a dominance thing.

  9. I saw on another blog that the wolf's pack had been hunted down and killed by a local official and that the last female was killed by a car, leaving Romeo a lone wolf. That true?

  10. Don't fool yourself. Wolves eat dogs. I grew up in the Yukon and remember once getting a knock on the door. My neighbor said the wolves had gotten my dog. Sure enough, they got him onto the lake ice and there was nothing left of him but a splash of blood, some fur and his head. This dog is as lucky as hell.

  11. Romeo was killed by a poacher in 2010. He would have been particularly easy to poach, as he would regularly play with domestic dogs.

  12. I have just found out about romeo, seems to me he just wanted a family, romeo probably sat in the woods and watched the dogs play and how much fun they were having and he just wanted the same
    As far as the pug he picked up, looks to me as if he was picking up a baby wolf. He just wanted a family, screw hunters.


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