We Have Become the Hunted by Juanita Amero
On November 8, 2005, a young mans life was taken. Not by the hands of another human, but by one of natures top predators, the wolf. I had previously written a two part article on this man, his name is Kenton Carnegie.
In summary, Kenton was attacked and killed by wolves on an afternoon walk in the woods of northern Saskatchewan. There had been some speculation that it actually had not been wolves but a bear instead. There had also been some finger pointing at the Sask. government for allowing the nearby dumps to become feeding grounds for the timber wolves, causing them to lose fear of humans. In closing of my previous articles, I had mentioned that I would revisit this story when the inquest into his death had taken place and been publicized.
After too much time had past, and being postponed, it finally took place at Prince Albert, Saskatchewan between Oct. 29th and Nov. 2 of this year. Weeks before this date, I was contacted by Kenton’s dad who had read my article. He is a well spoken, determined father. He kindly corrected some information in my article that had been reported in error and took the time to give the real story. He and his family have encountered many painful hurdles in their journey to get the truth out.
Word of mouth had proclaimed that Kenton had in fact taken pictures of the wolves that are responsible for his demise only nights before the attack. However, it was a bush pilot he was mistaken for. Kenton’s dad tells me that his son was not a risk taker and had done no such thing. He was not even in the area when those pictures were passed around in the mess hall that night.
During the inquest, the wolf experts were fervent in defending this predator’s reputation citing that all evidence indicated it was a black bear attack. They claimed that the wolves may have visited the scene after the attack, but were not the predator responsible for his death. However, there had been numerous sightings of brazen wolves and no sightings of bear in the area during the time before Kenton’s death.
Nature also dictates that bears should be in dens by this time. They went has far as saying that even though the wolves were eating from the dump and interacting with humans on an almost daily basis, it would take generations of habituation and human contact for a wolf to lose its fear of man enough to attack. Makes me wonder about the intellect of our wolf biologists…..
After days of testimony and intense evidence at the coroners inquest, the jury ruled that wolves had indeed been responsible for both attacking and killing Kenton. Sadly, Kenton Carnegie became the first human in recorded history to be killed by wild wolves in North America. After two longs years of pain and torment, two parents may now find bittersweet peace in knowing that their son’s death has not been covered up to protect either the government or the species responsible.
They now know that the real threat that wolves may pose is out and proven, and that this very threat will now be taken seriously. Thankfully, as a light at the end of this sad tunnel, the jury at Kenton’s inquest made suggestions and recommendations that will be passed on to that province’s government. These included a much needed and too late statement of a need to establish laws and standards of safely at garbage dump sites in areas where predators such as bears and wolves live and roam.
These parents will undoubtedly be a helping hand in the future safety of others living in these remote areas where there are dumps, as they now will be regulated. Their focus now remains on raising money for a scholarship in Kenton’s name. I wish them peace and may the angels whisper to them that their dear son is now safe and near them in spirit. They have fought a brave fight, even if the victory is bittersweet.