About 20 caribou have been killed by wild dogs, says a hunter from Coral Harbour, Nunavut. ‘Our caribou are very, very slow beside the mainland caribou because they don’t really run around because we don’t have any wolves on this island. So the dogs [can] very easily catch them,’ said Coral Harbour HTO president Moses Nakoolak. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press) Wanted: Two wild dogs on caribou killing spree.
Bounty: $250 a head.
Last spotted: Outside Coral Harbour, Nunavut.
There’s a bounty on the heads of two large, black and brown dogs, who’ve killed about 20 caribou near Coral Harbour, Nunavut.
Any hunter who takes down one of these wild dogs will get $250 per dog, says the local hunter and trappers association.
"There’s a couple of dogs gone wild here around town on our private island and they are on a murderous caribou serial killing spree," wrote a local resident on Facebook.
The dogs belonged to an elder who lost them this summer, according to Moses Nakoolak, the president of the Aiviit Hunters and Trappers Organization (HTO).
The dogs were young and have since become wild, he said. Caribou being ‘wasted’
The idea to post a bounty came from a board member in a meeting about the animals. This is the first time they’ve done this, Nakoolak says.
In the early fall, community members started seeing dead caribou on the land with their throats bitten and occasionally their intestines munched, but the rest of the animal was left untouched. Eventually, a hunter saw the dogs and pieced it together, Nakoolak says.
"It is kind of weird. This is my first time I’ve heard of this from hunters," Nakoolak said.
He says the community was upset to see caribou "wasted" in this way. He says the caribou population in the area had been declining for years, but recently that’s turned around and they want to maintain the population growth.
"Our caribou are very, very slow beside the mainland caribou because they don’t really run around because we don’t have any wolves on this island. So the dogs [can] very easily catch them."
The community is also worried the dogs will follow caribou into town and may endanger residents. Sometimes caribou wander between the houses in Coral Harbour, before the town wakes up, Nakoolak says.
The community wildlife officer has been trying to catch them for a while, but has been unsuccessful. Black fur, light brown legs
The HTO has advertised on local radio. The announcement described the dogs as having black fur on their backs, with light brown legs and sides. They’re just over half a metre tall.The colouring is rare in the town, so he says the HTO board is not worried about hunters shooting people’s pets — the bounty only applies outside the community limits.Nakoolak says based on the description, some people in the community have identified the dogs’ breed as Rottweilers, but says he hasn’t seen them himself to confirm.The bounty will remain open until both the dogs are put down. More Nunavut news:
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