State suspends hunt for wolves that killed village teacher

The body of Candice Berner was discovered March 8, 2010, off a 7-mile gravel road leading to the Chignik Lake airstrip.

The state is calling off its search for more Chignik Lake-area wolves that might have been involved in last week's attack that killed a school teacher.

Alaska Department of Fish and Game staff killed two wolves Monday about five miles west of Chignik Lake.

Fish and Game biologist Lem Butler said Wednesday he believes it's "highly likely that these wolves killed Candice Berner," the 32-year-old special-education teacher who had been based in Perryville.

"After conducting a two-day search for other wolf signs and finding none, I also conclude that there is a low likelihood of finding additional wolves in the near future if the search is continued," Butler said.

The department said its staff "will remain in close contact with local residents to monitor wolf sightings and activities in the Chignik Lake area, and may conduct a second search of the area in early April if further action is warranted."

Butler concluded the wolves killed Monday were involved in Berner's death because witnesses said there were two sets of wolf tracks on the road where Berner had been jogging when the attack occurred, and because the two wolves seen that evening matched the descriptions of the wolves killed this week.

Anchorage Daily News