Sunday, October 18, 2015

Retired veterinarian says he saw timber wolf in S.W. Topeka

Posted: October 17, 2015 
Longtime Topeka veterinarian Steve Rogers said Saturday that he saw a timber wolf, like this pack photographed at the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minn., ran past his house in southwest Topeka during the summer.  SXC.HU
SXC.HU
Longtime Topeka veterinarian Steve Rogers said Saturday that he saw a timber wolf, like this pack photographed at the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minn., ran past his house in southwest Topeka during the summer.


A retired veterinarian on Saturday told The Topeka Capital-Journal he saw a timber wolf run through his yard during the summer. Claimed sightings of wolves, cougars, elk and other non-native beasts aren’t uncommon in Kansas —

The Associated Press in July said that reports of confirmed mountain lion sightings had increased during the past decade in Kansas and Missouri, and a confirmed elk sighting in October 2013 took place in the Topeka city limits when retired resident Dan Byl caught two images of a bull elk on his trail camera near N.W. MacVicar and Interstate 70. However, in most instances, the animals are just displaced from their group and are only traveling through, not settling down and reproducing.

The retired veterinarian of 45 years, Steve Rogers — no, he’s not Captain America — said he saw the wolf in his yard near S.W. 6th and Westchester, though it’s unconfirmed at this point. “I was just sitting on my porch and I was sitting out there reading,” said Rogers. “There was still plenty of light. I thought it was a dog at first when I saw it out of my peripheral vision. I’m guessing it weighed anywhere between 90 and 100 pounds, and it was shedding. I just said, ‘What the hell?!’ ”

Rogers said he was unable to capture a photograph of the beast, as it was only in view for three to four seconds.“I’ve seen fox, coyotes, all kinds of stuff out here, and it’s just amazing,” he said.

Rogers, who said the moment was one of the highlights of his life, said the beast ran exactly the way a wolf does in the wild.“I’ve visited with a friend of mine who said he’s sure he saw one over by Wood Valley one foggy morning,” Rogers said. “Someone said they thought they saw a small pack south of town. I don’t expect to ever see something like that again.”

He also recalled a moose that had been spotted crossing a river in the area about 25 years ago that disappeared and soon afterward was found in Arkansas. He said the paper even reported the ordeal. “If a moose can disappear like that, I’m sure a wolf can, too,” Rogers said.

Anyone with a photo of a wolf or other unusual wildlife in the area can send it to joshua.rouse@cjonline.com.

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