Photo from fOTOGLIF
Hat tip – This link and information came to me via a reader.
The Bonners Ferry Herald in Northern Idaho published what was part of an email received from family members in Chignik Lake, Alaska to family in Boundary County, Idaho.
When the majority of citizens hear of such tragic events, they are subjected to what their choice of media sources chooses to report to them, truth or fiction. More often than not, the humanistic side of the story seldom goes beyond the immediate victim and perhaps a spouse or children involved.
Such accounts as what happened to Candice Berner become fodder for private agendas. Wolves attacked and killed a young woman. Speculation and second guessing runs rampant as to what happened and why. All too often the path the debate takes is appalling, running swiftly away from any reality of how these tragedies can hit home and hit hard.
The Boundary County couple receive an email from their daughter in Chignik Lake, Alaska.
“Please pray, our special Ed teacher, Candice , is missing:
Villagers find Candice Berner, or at least what they believe to be Ms. Berner. Chignik Lake is a remote community. Residents of the village huddle around Berner’s partially devoured body as they are told the police cannot be there until the morning, as they are some distance away and there is a snowstorm.
The daughter’s husband goes to the scene and from what he can see, it is Candice Berner.
A blizzard is raging outside and volunteers are standing over the body to keep the wolves from attacking again. They want to move the body. They get the permission of the authorities to do that.
The daughter is very concerned about whether the “male teachers” who are moving Berner’s body, including her husband, will be too traumatized.
This all hit very close to home for Lee Butters. She was traumatized by what her daughter and husband went through as well as the fact that Candice Berner lost her life to a predator that Butters had learned wouldn’t do such a thing.
I will let you read how she describes it:
You see, I graduated in Wildlife Resources from Utah State University in 1971. I have a great respect and interest in wolves and thought that this kind of thing just does not happen.
I pulled out my copy of “Wolves and Men” read it anew. Well, maybe it has happened, but nothing in the last few hundred years in North America, or so I thought.
It wasn’t long before a simple Google search for “wolf attacks on humans” lead me to a Wikepedia article, and others, that proved me wrong.
Besides being a graduate in wildlife biology, I have spent several weeks in the remote Alaskan village where the attack took place. Being known for its brown bear population, everyone knows to take proper precautions during bear season. In my daughter’s own words, “we were warned about the bears long before we ever came here three years ago. No one ever even mentioned a danger from wolves.”
Wolf advocates will come back with all kinds of justifications for the incident. I am willing to meet them head on.
I will tell you Candice was not walking with a dog, there were no nearby kills that the pack was protecting and there have been no reports of rabies in the region for many years. She was just walking on a road about a mile and a half from the village. If she had not been found soon after being killed, there would likely be little left of her.
Consider this a warning to my fellow North Idahoans. When walking, camping, hunting, or just enjoying the great outdoors, be aware that the danger from wolves is not just to elk, dear and livestock.