Three wolves die at Denali National Park after collaring

Saturday, March 24th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) _ Three wolves in Denali National Park and Preserve died after being darted for collaring, prompting the park to suspend the program until an investigation is completed.

The decision was announced Friday by the park's acting superintendent, Ralph Tingey.

The wolves were found dead last week. Preliminary necropsies performed on two of them indicated they had been weakened by infection, said Gordon Olson, head of the park's research program.

The park is currently home to about 100 wolves, though the numbers fluctuate from about 90 to 130, Olson said.

The wolves found dead had been among 10 that were tranquilized as part of a long-term research program at the park. Biologists monitor the population and shifts in the wolves' territory and also study the predator-prey relationship in the park, he said.

Over the 15 years of the wolf darting program, 327 animals have been captured and there have been eight capture-related deaths, including the three this year, park officials said.