Hillside 'black wolf' mystery solved
(Video credit: Anchorage Police Department)
Video posted to social media showed a wolf-like animal in Anchorage's Hillside neighborhood last week. Now, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has weighed in after a new video of the animal was sent their way.
In recent weeks, there have been reports in the Hillside area of at least one animal, perhaps a black wolf, that looks similar to the one in the APD dashcam video captured February 5 in the area of Birch and Abbot Loop.
After initially sharing the video with Fish and Game to get their take, the internal conversation at the Anchorage Police Department about what the animal was prompted the department to post the dashcam video to their Facebook page, according to APD spokesperson MJ Thim.
Department of Fish and Game spokesperson, Ken Marsh, says the department is familiar with the video APD posted and said their biologists reviewed it; however, they were not initially certain if the animal is a wolf or not.
Tuesday, Marsh told KTVA that a citizen shared a new, better-lit video of the same animal in the same Hillside location. The animal was "easily identifiable by markings", Marsh said.
After taking a closer look, the folks at Fish and Game determined there was a presence of a dog collar with a D-ring, which is used to attach a leash.
"We have concluded that the animal in the APD video is a pet whose owner probably lives in the neighborhood," Marsh said.
"It was a great community connector," Thim said of APD's decision to post the dashcam video to their Facebook page. "It was a really great community conversation about what this animal was."
Marsh says there have been no reports of the animal behaving aggressively toward people.
Meanwhile, ADFG encourages residents to report any wolf encounters-- as well as any images-- to help biologists gather information. Reports can be made here.
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