Candice Berner, Teacher Alaskan Teacher Killed by Wolves

Hunters were combing the snowy brush around Chignik Lake, Alaska, on Friday in an attempt to hunt down up to four wolves that killed a 32-year-old special education teacher in the first known fatal wolf attack in the U.S. in modern times.candice berner killed by wolves in alaska

But the wolves were elusive, and villagers were hoping that state game officials would send in a helicopter to help track the animals, Village Council President Johnny Lind said.

“They’ve been looking and scouting around, and the wolves are definitely still around, but they’re smart, and they take off before you can get close to them,” Lind said.

Candice Berner, a special education teacher who traveled among several rural schools on the Alaska Peninsula, 475 miles southwest of Anchorage, was attacked while jogging and listening to her iPod Monday evening on the deserted, 3-mile-long road that leads out from the village to its small airstrip.

A native of Slippery Rock, Pa., she had been working in Alaska only since August. Her body was found by snowmobilers a short time after the attack. It had been dragged off the road and partially eaten, and was surrounded by wolf prints.

“Our investigation points to wolves being the most likely culprit. It is the only predatory animal that is active in the area that we’re aware of, and we also believe the wolves have been increasingly threatening to people in the area,” said Megan Peters, spokeswoman for the Alaska State Troopers. “They’ve been getting too close, circling, making people fearful for their safety.”

Christi Aleck, another resident of the village, said that while there are always wolves in the area, three to four have been lingering unusually close over the past week or so and have been sighted again since the attack.

“They come in at nighttime, not very far from the village, and they’re just kind of watching,” she said. “They’re waiting for somebody else to go out again, I guess.”

She said villagers are driving their children to school and keeping them indoors during recess.

“People are scared. Oh yeah, they’re scared,” she said. “Nobody’s walking around anywhere. I mean, wolves have always hung around in the wintertime, but they’ve never attacked anyone.”

The only known previous fatal wolf attack in North America over the last 100 years occurred in 2005, when a young geology student was attacked and partially eaten by a pack of wolves in northern Saskatchewan.

In at least two other cases, there were attacks — in Alaska and again in Saskatchewan — that were halted by rescuers before they became fatal.

“What the research shows is that in the last 10 or 20 years, as wolves have kind of re-colonized areas where they were extirpated around the turn of the 20th century, and as people have also developed more habits of going out into national parks and wilderness areas, we’ve had more aggressive encounters,” said Mark McNay, a retired Alaskan wildlife biologist who has studied wolf attacks.

Wildlife attacks in Alaska are relatively common. “Certainly we have bear maulings, we have people bitten by wolves, we have people that are stomped by moose,” Peters said. “Having an incident where a human and animal cross paths and it doesn’t end well, that’s normal. But we don’t have any other case on hand that we’re aware of where someone was actually killed by a wolf.”

Peters said state troopers had ruled out the possibility that Berner had died from any other cause and was later dragged away by wolves.

11 Comments

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11 Responses to Candice Berner, Teacher Alaskan Teacher Killed by Wolves

  1. Barbara Bussell

    I heard about this from someone who saw the article of the teacher being killed and partially eaten by wolves.

    I do not know what she was doing there. She was running on a trail and listening to her Ipod. Did not hear the wolves. If she had not been alone perhaps she would have been safe.

  2. john

    Bruce is a nutcase who believes the wolf reintroduction was a NAZI conspiracy in America.
    " the Nazi wanted a wildland project no differences between the NAZI’S then and you wolf loving lunatics here in America"
    "Nazi LEFT WING Socialist I see you did not comment on your brownshirt friends burning houses to the ground what is the matter you one of FAR LEFT WING NAZI wearing the black mask playing Eco Terrorist. NAZI THAT SUPPORT WOLVES IS A FACT LIVE IN DENIAL ALL YOU WANT YOU ARE FOLLOWING NAZI WOLF PROPAGANDA "
    "Just like the NAZI that study was buried and the public not allow to see it. Kind of sounds like NAZI propaganda doesn’t it. Or should we talk about the NAZI way the anti American wolf lover so called expert that flew up 6 weeks after Kenton Carnegie was killed and said he saw a bear track in a picture. That sound like NAZI propaganda but then truth on the wolf issue is precious and hard to find I wonder why. Oh that right the NAZI propaganda hiding all the wolf attacks on people.

  3. jack

    Hey Bruce, no one said that wolves NEVER attack humans. Less people are attacked or killed by wolves than by many other large predators like bears, lions, domestic dogs and even other humans. Not enough truth about wolves? Well no one is going to hear the truth from you, just lies, radical anti-wolf propaganda and a bunch of BS.

  4. Chris

    Anyone seen the movie "Frozen"?

  5. Wolves are known man killers only the most gullibe children that live in America believe wolves don't hunt and kill humans. Too much TV and not enough truth about wolves.

  6. Chris

    Why give an animal that humans have been threatened by for Hundreds of years the bennifit of the doubt! Why blame a different animal? Wolves are just as capable as all all preadature of killing humans… Why do not people get these are not puppies.. Alot of people based thier knowledge of wolves off of tv documentries, but I assure those documentries do not depict the whole situation… Any one seen the movie "Frozen" that is closer to wolf behavior. I know people that have been stalked to thier deer stands, and one that accidentally was shot, and in a stand dripping blood, guess what kind of pack waits below??? I do think there is a place for the wolf, but in moderation only, as the wolf does what a wolf does, and no one in America should have to live under threat as these animals do pose to many people in different environments/lifestyles. Yes wolves do what they do, therefore why have so many of them???

  7. The_Wolfman

    She more than likely was killed by some other animal or even a human, and then the wolves came in; they still have not officially determined that it was wolves. Even the villager’s state there has only been two accounts in the last 100 years. Not enough evidence to say at this time and people should not jump to conclusions.

  8. JoAnn

    Why is it do you think people evolved to building solid homes that can not be easily entered by wild animals?

  9. Joe

    I wonder if the victim was menstruating at the time??.
    Because there was that bear that killed a young lady a few years ago, in Alaska. And they determined that the Grizzly smelled the blood….

    • Tricia

      Seriously?!? How much interaction have you had with wild, predatory animals? Some idiot might have thrown that out as a theory on why a Grizzly attacked, but you don't have to do very much REAL RESEARCH (try some) to realize that nobody KNOWS why a wild animal attacks sometimes and other times doesn't. We have information on when they are more likely to attack (mother with cubs, you suprised the animal, animal is hungry, blah, blah, blah) but there are literally hundreds of completely 'unexplained' attacks…except that we're dealing with wild animals. No legitimate wildlife biologist or researcher would say, "Well, the lady was menstruating and that's why the bear, wolf, moose, wolverine, etc. attacked." Maybe the old man who was stomped to death by a moose in the middle of Anchorage right in front of one of the largest University of Alaska buildings was menstruating. (!!!) You obviously didn't even read this entire articlle where the biologist states that wolf attacks are becoming increasingly more aggressive or that the pack has been getting closer to and circling the village. Do your homework, and try not to limit it to Wikipedia.

      • JoAnn

        My mom has been warning me for years not to camp in a tent during that time of the month, as sent is detected miles away, and the smell is of a injured, weakened mamal. The above theory is well known, not meant to be sexist. Unfortunatly as human females we c an be easily targeted when it comes to Apex predatures. Always be extra careful when in the woods during that time of the month. It is just commom sense, to me a researcher does not have to prove this, then again who would volunteer, I would not!!!

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