Posted: Feb 27, 2012 7:17 PM by Dax VanFossen (Kalispell)
Updated: Apr 18, 2012 10:49 AM
KALISPELL - A grey wolf was spotted running the length of the Kalispell Middle School playground over the weekend, and a nearby resident managed to capture video of the event.
Brian Grande took the footage with his cell phone. The video shows the wolf running back and forth on the empty playground.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks authorities said that police officers, sheriff's deputies, and FWP agents responded quickly but were unable to locate the animal.
MT FWP spokesman John Fraley noted that it's not uncommon for wolves, bears, and even mountain lions to come up a river drainage and appear in public for a short while.
Fraley said this particular wolf fled to the woods immediately.
"Apparently this animal is just passing through the area and it's not unusual for wolves to disperse, long distances," Fraley said. "From what we were able to tell, it came out of the Stillwater River corridor, across the golf course, through town, past the junior high, on out towards the west and it's just dispersing or moving and we haven't been able to identify the origin of it, because either the collar is dead, or it's a frequency that we're not aware of."
Fraley said while this is not uncommon, safety for humans is always their highest priority; and in this case, experts determined the wolf was simply scared, and fled into the woods.
UPDATE: The Daily Interlake reports that the animal has been positively identified as a wolf by MT Fish, Wildlife & Parks.