Findings Related to the March 2010 Fatal Wolf Attack near Chignik Lake, Alaska
July 2, 2019
At approximately 6:00 p.m. on March 8, 2010 the body of Candice Berner was discovered next to a snow-covered road approximately two miles from the community of Chignik Lake, Alaska. The Alaska Departments of Public Safety (DPS) and Health and Social Services (DHSS) initially investigated the case and determined Ms. Berner’s death was not the result of a criminal act. The DHSS State Medical Examiner asserted that Ms. Berner died from “multiple injuries due to animal mauling.” The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) and the DPS Alaska State Troopers (AST) then evaluated both the physical evidence and the eyewitness testimony of Chignik Lake residents. The investigators concluded that Ms. Berner was attacked and killed by wolves. A joint action to lethally collect wolves from the immediate area was undertaken by the two departments to address public safety concerns and to investigate biological factors that may have contributed to the attack. Genetic analysis of samples taken from the victim’s clothing and from wolves killed in the lethal removal action positively identified one wolf and implicated others in the attack.
Author(s): Lem Butler, Bruce Dale, Kimberlee Beckmen, Sean Farley