Increased wolf activity leads to fears for pets & children

By KBJR News 1

September 1, 2014 Updated Sep 1, 2014 at 11:29 PM CDT

Grand Marais, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- DNR Officials continue to investigate several wolf related incidents in Northeastern Minnesota.

"The dog house as you can see as we get closer where it used to be laying by the dirt spot here. Our dog was about 20-25 pounds and it drug it approximately almost six feet and spun the doghouse back that direction" said Craig Niemi, who recently lost his dog.

Craig and his wife lost their dog about a week ago. They and their daughter have tried to keep hope for a return...

"but when this happened and I heard wolf, people seeing wolves around both sides of my house and then two more dogs in the past week that they actually saw the wolf" said Cindy Larsen-Niemi.

A scary situation for the couple that lives not too far from downtown Grand Marais and not very far away...
"I don't have any chickens anymore because I've been... a wolf came" said Darleen Irving.

Darleen Irving recently gave away any chickens she had left after scary encounter.

"I look out my bedroom and here's a big old wolf with a turkey hanging out of it's mouth and a turkey underneath him and three or four other turkeys" said Irving.

Minnesota DNR Officers say it is unusual to see wolves coming so close to town. They suspect the recent activity was the work of a lone wolf.

"We're telling people to be vigilant with their pets. Do not leave them outside unattended and when you are outside with them stay close to them. The interactions that we've seen with humans so far I believe are mostly just curiosity" said Conservation Officer for the Minnesota DNR, Darin Fagerman.

Near Pequaywan Lake they've been seeing many more wolves in the area.

"Residents have seen packs of wolves, have even taken pictures of them on their phone or videos, there seem to be a lot of them around" said Pequaywan Inn Co-owner, Nancy Peterson.

So many, that the DNR has set up traps in the area not far from the Pequaywan Inn.
No traps are set near Grand Marais, but DNR Officials say that if you do see a wolf...

"Just stay away from it, back away, get your pets inside and it'll move on" said Fagerman.

As for Craig and Cindy, they're taking extra precautions to avoid any greater tragedy.

"It's concerning, they're not afraid of people and so when is it going to be a kid maybe"

DNR Conservation Officers in Grand Marais say that if people continue to keep their dogs under a watchful eye, the wolves will move on and search elsewhere for food.

Bryce Henry