I have hunted these mountains many times but I have never experienced fear like I did on that hike. The thought of the wolves behind us, the dogs that had just been killed and of the two that we could not find were about all I could handle.
Are you aware that pumas are predators? Is one predator superior to the other?
Or do pumas refrain from attacking domesticated animals?
If there is anything the right hates, it is the natural world.
Wolves may have killed teacher
CHIGNIK: Police unsure whether death happened before, after bite.
By JAMES HALPIN
Published: March 10th, 2010 03:11 AM
Last Modified: March 10th, 2010 03:12 AM
Authorities were in an Alaska Peninsula village Tuesday investigating whether a 32-year-old schoolteacher, found dead off a road leading out of town, was killed in a wolf attack, according to state and local officials.
The body of Candice Berner of Slippery Rock, Pa., was discovered Monday evening off a roughly 7-mile gravel road leading to the Chignik Lake airstrip.
Berner's father, Bob Berner, reached in Pennsylvania on Tuesday night, said Alaska State Troopers told the family their daughter had been killed in an "animal attack, possibly a wolf attack." Troopers told him it was highly unusual and still under investigation, with the body on its way to Anchorage for an autopsy, he said.
"They wanted to make sure that nothing happened prior to the animal bite," Berner said. "We're totally shocked. You know, initial denial: This can't be Candice."
Berner described his daughter as "small and mighty," a woman who liked to box, lift weights and run. She was training for a race and could get into a meditative state when running, he said.
Troopers would not comment on the cause of death, saying the investigation is ongoing and that they are awaiting the results of the autopsy. Spokeswoman Megan Peters said the body showed signs of predation but declined to provide further details.
The body was found on regional corporation land within the borders of the Alaska Peninsula Wildlife Refuge and therefore was not in federal jurisdiction, said Bruce Woods, spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
"I don't think there's any decision yet as to whether it was predated before or after death," Woods said. "In other words, the (woman) might have died of something else and wolves might have found the body."
An itinerant special education teacher based in Perryville, Berner had just arrived in Chignik this week to work at the school there, said Lake and Peninsula Borough School District Chief Operating Officer Rick Luthi, who is in King Salmon. Berner had been with the district since August.
Her co-workers last saw her alive at the end of the workday Monday, Luthi said.
"She had made the comment that she wanted to get out and get some fresh air," Luthi said. "We assumed that that meant a run for Candice, because she had a habit of doing that whenever she could."
Local residents have been concerned about recent wolf activity in the area, but she probably didn't know that because she had just gotten to town, Luthi said.
Just a few hours later, about 6:30 p.m., someone on a four-wheeler came across some blood along the road and discovered the remains had been pulled into tall brush, maybe 10 to 15 yards off the road, Luthi said. Berner had apparently been killed within the past few hours, he said.
Chignik Lake, with a population of roughly 100, is on the south side of the Alaska Peninsula 13 miles from Chignik and 474 miles southwest of Anchorage.
Unlimited wolf trapping is permitted in the area from Oct. 1 to April 30. Hunting regulations allow 10 wolves per person per day from Aug. 10 to May 25, said Fish and Game spokeswoman Jennifer Yuhas.
"These are regulations set by the Board of Game and the liberal allowance of harvest denotes (an) incentivized program to harvest wolves in that Unit," Yuhas wrote in an e-mail.
Fish and Game officials would not comment on Berner's cause of death or say whether predation by another animal, like a bear, might have been possible.
There is an "extremely high" density of brown bears in the Chignik Lake area, but it is somewhat early for bears to be out, said retired Fish and Game biologist Mark McNay, who has studied wolf attacks in North America.
It is prime mating season for wolves -- a time when a lot of individual wolves could be out looking for mates and when young wolves recently separated from their packs could be wandering, he said.
"Those types of animals may be more likely to attack because they're naive, they haven't ever associated with people," McNay said. "There have been some cases where those types of wolves have chased and bitten people."
Wolf attacks on domestic animals in Alaska are not uncommon. A pack of wolves, at least some of them rabid, killed about a half-dozen sled dogs in Marshall in October 2007. Beginning a month later, Anchorage saw a series of wolf encounters that left three dogs dead and several others wounded.Wildlife officials at the time speculated the pack, led by a hungry leader, was targeting easy meals.
But violent encounters with people are more rare.
Last September, a rabid wolf attacked a hunter along the Kuskokwim River near Kalskag, biting the man in his leg before being shot to death. The hunter lived.
In April 2000, a radio-collared wolf repeatedly bit a 6-year-old boy playing in a grove of alders at a logging camp northwest of Yakutat. The boy was not seriously injured.
Then in July 2006, a wolf attacked a schoolteacher walking off the Dalton Highway, along the Arctic Circle. The woman suffered cuts and gashes to her legs but survived.
McNay, who now lives in Kansas, is the author of a 2002 study published by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game that examined 80 wolf-human encounters in North America, nearly half of which involved elements of aggression among healthy wolves.
The cases in which wolves are most aggressive are the cases involving wolves that have become habituated to people, he said.
"There's only been one other case of a fatal wolf attack by a healthy, wild wolf in North America, and that happened in 2005 in northern Saskatchewan," McNay said. "It is extremely rare. There have been other cases, of course, of wolves behaving aggressively toward people.
"The frequency of these cases seems to have increased in the past decade or so."
Extermination -- or near-extermination -- of a species, any species, is a display of gross, arrogant, anthropo-centered stupidity...
Ever notice how 'Arachnid' sounds a bit like 'Anti-christ'? No? Have you ever noticed that some spiders are scary little suckers that hang in midair supported by silk cables that are stronger then steel and wait for **** to blunder into them? I assume you have, because occasionally people blunder into them and scream like a little girl because their face is all sticky. Well, this spider isn't like that. This spider doesn't hang in midair because Sephiroth already claimed the title 'Most Unholy Evil Prick To Float In The Sky'. The only reason it doesn't swim is because Cthulhu most likely lives off the Australian coast and there would be a turf war. We'll get to him later, there's a point to this story.
This spider is proof of God, proof that he's a malicious ass who kicks puppies and makes anime music videos of rape scenes to 'Yakity Sax'.
Most Australians don't believe our country is as bad as foreigners make out. We laugh as we are told that our wildlife is evil, chuckle and shake our heads as people declare our environment 'Hellish' and go back to digging up our martian red soil in the 35 degree heat. Hellish? Mate, this is paradise. Even that little bit of hyperbole was stretching things, we have some fantastic rainforests and utterly adorable swamps and wetlands and things. In short, we don't think our country is as nightmare fuelish as we are told it is... But what if it is!?
Last weekend was my Sisters birthday and as she is still of the age where she uses a training sword and can barely maul a bull elephant, and because I was in the state and the very earth cowered in fear, we decided to go and visit the Australian Reptile Park, a place now #1 on my list of 'stupid-as-dick places to seek refuge during a zombie apocalypse'. For those of you who don't know, Australia's reptiles aren't the most accommodating bunch. We have the largest reptile, in the world, most commonly known as the saltwater crocodile and frequently referred to as 'Liquid Fear'.
It had more than just reptiles, as it turns out.
We followed this one funny chap around the park as he did talks on all of the Iconic Australian animals and proved that you don't need to be sensible to work with creatures capable of removing your fingers, arms or immolating your living soul. We watched him cheerfully fish around inside a hollow log for a Tasmanian Devil (Devil.) with his bare hand, and drag the screaming (Yes, they scream like a black god) little dervish out of the darkness. This little sucker can flood it's ears with blood to make them glow red, because it feeds on your fear. If there was a superhero named Tazzy Devil, he would eat Wolverine alive, bones and all. We watched this insane zookeeper tease them with a bloody kangaroo leg and then watched these furry chainsaws eat it. All of it.
Then he fed a 3 meter long crocodile named Elvis, I can only assume he was named Elvis because he likes to consume his own weight in hamburgers daily and can never truly die. The rotten chicken (apparently they like eating old corpses, which raises the question of how there got to be new corpses.) was so badly decayed that it fell off the feeding stick and he was forced to prove he has a death-wish and grab it out from near its mouth and toss it at the God-Lizard before he finally munched it down with one bite. For anyone who thinks this isn't that stupid, let me stress that a Salty is not your basic 'Gator. It's a Croc. In a later show he (yes, he survives to give more talks) hands a juvenile 'Gator to some little girl he dragged into the show pit because these things are really just moving logs that snap at passing carrion. An Australian Salty equivalent was brought in, and made every attempt to go berserk and eat the trainer, the little girl, the Gator and the show pit itself. They are not friendly.
He fed some dingo's, letting the things lick all over his face in a display not unlike standing on a shooting range covered in big magnets. Why you would let the asshole of the canine world (think wolf without the class ) taste you!? You can't tame these things, they will maul and defile your corpse in an attempt to become the Alpha male. These things can take down a cow weighing hundreds of kilos trying to kick it's face in, do you think swatting it with a newspaper will stop it feeding you your own asshole?
And the snakes. Oh god, the snakes. There was a show on the snakes (I'm not even going to tell you about the show, this man is the Anti-Murphys-Law), and a large hall or two in the very cool reptile cave-thing. As stated, I have never thought of my country as Evil or that dangerous, but the nameplates alone started to erode my indoctrinated self-assurance. Death Adder. Red Bellied Black Snake (it even looks demonic). Fierce Snake. Taipan. Do you know what Taipan means in Japanese? It means 'Big Boss'. That's right, the son of a bitch Solid Snake was cloned from and who routinely kicked the collective asses of the world probably had to beg and plead to get his name from an Australian Snake. What the hell, God!? Add in the fact that the most asshole slithery thing in the place is named simply 'Brown Snake' (perhaps the color of your trousers after you find one in your bath. I kid you not) and we get a kind of sick understanding of the creator of this continent. It was dawning on me that perhaps I was the one ignorant of the true nature of my beloved land down under.
The turning point was the Spiders.
I can live with the trees with the poison hair (every other tree forms a symbiotic relationship with animals, using them to spread seeds. There is no excuse for this tree, it is simply a jerk). I can live with the poison-torpedo shooting seashells. I forgave the jellyfish. I can look past the snakes. I can forgive the fact that both of our national animals routinely maul tourists who think they're cute, rather than malevolent and twitchy sacks of hate equipped with sonic-ram-legs. I can forgive the Blue Ringed Octopus. I can forgive the fact that Spore: Australia Edition would be MA 15+. But I cannot forgive the Sydney Funnel Web. Not in a million years will there ever be an excuse for the Sydney Funnel Web.
This is #1 on '**** you don't want to bite you'. Period. If you get bitten by a snake, you have over 4 hours until the damage becomes chronic and sometimes up to 12 before you keel over dead (it's the heat and long distances to hospitals that make Australia so nasty with snakes, that and the fact that our snakes have venom you could clean grease stains with). Not so with the SFW, the record for surviving this Eight-Legged-Armageddon is an Hour and sixteen minutes. The record. That was a healthy, very healthy man, fully hydrated and who knew how to treat the wound and stem the flow of poison and had god on his side (fickle ass). You, unprepared and unaware, will last 40 minutes, maximum. Think about how long that is, that's not a long time. That's not counting the fact that your fate is sealed after about 25 minutes, mind you, and you'd better hope the ambulance reaches you in time.
Let me give you a rundown of what a whack from this thing will do to you:
1) Agonizing Pain. Not 'ow, put an ice-block on that' agony, but roll on the floor and beg for death agony. Neurotoxin is an utter bitch and will rape your nerve endings and make you see Satan.
2) Drooling. Not spit, not the pre-vomit wet-mouthness. After only 5 minutes you will drool so much and so uncontrollably you can barely breath or speak, making calling for help really hard. Did we mention agony more extreme than anything you have ever felt?
3) After this point, the fun stuff starts. You will cry, pee and crap blood, you will drool and vomit blood and the agony that once made you want to cut off your bitten limb has now spread to your entire body and is making every nerve scream for death.
And this little prick of an animal will bite you multiple times, if he can get you, because he feeds on your tears.
You die at this point. Ambulance drivers don't rush for snake bites, save to spare you prolonged pain before you get the cure. They will run red lights, scrape up against other cars and mount the sidewalk to get a funnelweb victim to the hospital, because after they've got there the guy is usually crying blood already.
If it bites your hand and you survive (making you honorarily Ultra), you will lose fingers, if it bites your foot be prepared to lose it, if it bites your face you're about to become one ugly ******. Most of Australia's wildlife gets exaggerated in its lethality (at least I thought it did), even though everything here bar the sheep spit poison (the trees, dammit! Poison Trees!), but not the funnelweb.
I'm Not Trying To Look Bigger. I'm Preventing Your Escape.
look at those god damn fangs, they can drive those suckers through your toenails. I wouldn't mind the evil bastards if they lived out in the western wastes like all the rest of our Anti-Christ animals, but this is the, by name: Sydney Funnel Web. How is this fair? It's like having the 'Suburban Sewer Grizzly', and it wields a chainsaw. For god's sake, it's not even a restrained arachnid bastard, it's known for being an aggressive little ****. The males, the ones with venom 10 times more potent than the females (that's right, 10 times) are designed to wander looking for females, who hide in (duh) funnel webs. Let me spell that out: It's an aggressive, sadistic, overly toxic hairy asshole and it's made to wander all over Sydney crawling into warm and enclosed spaces like your shoes and gloves and houses, and it can bite through your toenail when you have the audacity to wake it up in the morning. It's venom has Hemotoxic, Neurotoxic and Necrotic effects. I don't know what that last part means exactly but Necrotic is never good and it may raise you as a zombie. Not fair.
This is what gets me. Not that it's evil, not that it's deadly, not that i'd rather burn to death while drowning rather than die of this thing, but that it has evolved and adapted in a short period of time to make Sydney (and you thought the cities were safe...) it's stomping ground. It's not natural, it's vindictive. It's proof of a malevolent God and i'll dare any person to be bitten by this sucker and not beg for divine intervention.
The Point Of This Thread: The Aussie reptile park is a private venture, it gets no funding for the amazing conservation work it does for Tazzy Devils and several other endangered species. The only thing separating these adorable and deadly critters from leaving us forever is the entry fees of those who visit the good people there.
If you wanted to see all these deadly creatures (and a whole bunch of non-lethal and cute/awesome ones as well) in a safe place, the Reptile Park is the place to go. The crazy guys there are friendly, warm and often hilarious. They love their jobs. If you're a local, a tourist, or want to see a grown man piss of an Eight-legged Satan for your amusement (and then learn to survive it), then drop by. Nature will spare you one horrible death.
You're claiming that the creatures of Pandora's box simply don't exist...