Wild wolves roam the Austin area

Published 10:29 am Thursday, July 31, 2008

Two wolves seen roaming the median of Interstate 90 have made their way to Austin, according to Mower County Sheriff Terese Amazi, who said the animals were last noticed this morning on a bike path near the Austin Municipal Airport.

Amazi said the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will not attempt to catch the wolves unless they become a threat to humans.

At this point, they’re hopeful they’ll just continue to move west, she said.

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Witnesses first reported the pair a couple of weeks ago, according to Amazi, who stated that the animals are not from the Hayfield, Minn., facility as initially suspected.

They’re wild, she said, noting that wolves around this region are not unheard of because there’s a regular supply of food. Thus far, the animals have been eating from deer carcusses pulled into highway ditches, Amazi said.

Because they’ve only constituted a traffic hazard so far, the DNR will not chase down the two. Amazi said anyone who sees the wolves near homes, feeding on dog food or interacting with domestic pets should contact the state agency.