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February 17, 2012
Wolf Pups Stealing Yukon Quest Markers - 4
Canadian Rangers and dog sled racers running the Yukon Quest trail are dealing with a vandalism situation of the furry kind: Wolf pups are chewing and stealing markers along the 1,000 mile trail.
“Pups, they like playing,” John “Mitch” Mitchell, Canadian Ranger trail coordinator, told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. “Mainly they start chewing on them, showing off.”
This pup problem has led the Rangers to not place markers until mushers get close to that section of the trail. Unfortunately, this wait until the last minute policy doesn’t always keep wolves from getting to the markers before mushers do. Mitchell said Lance Mackey, four-time Yukon Quest champion, ended up in someone’s driveway a few years ago when he ventured off the trail after missing a marker. The Rangers believe a wolf took it.
While sympathetic to the racers plight, Mitchell says his agency is doing the best it can. “We can get the trail in, but we can't control the wolves,” he said.
I’ve never had a wolf pup take anything from me, but I have lost many a thing to my thieving Labrador. Maybe she’s part wolf.