Monday, June 05, 2006

Sault Ste. Marie man films wolf in backyard

By SCOTT BRAND - The Evening News

SAULT STE. MARIE - While the old saying “The wolf is at the door” is generally meant to convey economic trouble, it took on a more literal meaning for a local family when the animal made a backyard visit to their home near the intersection of Three Mile Road and Riverside Drive Friday evening.

Kevin Garlinghouse not only came into The Evening News early today with a pretty good story, but had more than a minutes worth of videotape evidence of the wolf.

“To me, it's kind of neat,” said Garlinghouse of his initial reaction. In his travels he has seen wolves over in the Seney area and down by his cabin in the Stalwart area, “But this is the first one I've seen in my yard.” Garlinghouse guessed that the animal he had on tape was a younger male and from all appearances it seemed to be in good health.

“My wife is kind of nervous, she likes to walk,” said Garlinghouse, quickly adding the family will also be keeping a close eye on their little Pomeranian. He also added that he felt it was important for his neighbors with “small children and pets” to know there is a wolf in the area.

Garlinghouse said his father, who lives near the juncture of Riverside Drive and Three Mile Road, had also seen the wolf in recent days. Despite two sightings in a short period of time, Garlinghouse expressed the belief that this particular animal was just “passing through.”

The Garlinghouse sighting is not the first report of wolves either on the edge or inside the Sault Ste. Marie City Limits in recent years. The animals in all of the prior incidents apparently moved on to better grounds and were not seen, nor heard from again, after the initial wave of reports died down.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reports there is no evidence of healthy wolves ever attacking human beings in North America. There have been a number of reports in recent years, however, where wolves have killed farm animals including turkeys, chickens and sheep. Additional reports also indicate a wolf will kill domestic dogs in some instances and that has likewise occurred in the Eastern Upper Peninsula.

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