Grand Marais, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- The Cook County Sheriff's office has issued a wolf warning in Cook County, Minn.
Residents are being warned because at least five dogs, in the last two weeks, are assumed to have been killed by wolves in and around Grand Marais.
A couple of the wolf attacks were witnessed by the dog owners.
"I think if you're a dog owner anywhere in wolf country, northern, especially northeastern, Minnesota, then you should always attend your dog when it's outside – never leave your dog unattended," according to Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Conservation Officer Darren Fagerman.
Sometimes attacks on dogs can occur because of territorial issues, or the wolves are looking for easy prey while in survival mode.
If a wolf is attacking your dog, you are not allowed to shoot the wolf because discharging a firearm in Grand Marais is illegal.
The sheriff's office says you could make an attempt to scare the wolf away with shouting, banging metal and making any loud sounds, and call authorities.
However, if you are outside the city limits of Grand Marais, you can shoot the wolf to protect your dog, and then call the DNR, Fagerman said.
The Cook County Sheriff's office also says wolves have been approaching people on the north side of Grand Marais.
"I don't know if they are curious and losing their fear, I don't know what it is. They seem to be coming into the city more and more lately," Fagerman said. "The wolves seem to be more curious, and not aggressive, when it comes to approaching people."
Fagerman says he learned from second–hand reports that someone was gardening outside in Grand Marais when a wolf came very close to her. He says the woman sprayed the wolf with the garden hose, and it ran away.
Another woman was walking in town when a wolf reportedly came close. She backed away from it, and the wolf went away.
Fagerman says backing away from a wolf slowly is the correct approach.
If you are in that area, and would like to be prepared, Fagerman says you could carry pepper spray.