The Great Brooklyn Wolf Plague of 1913 ran for an entire summer, leaving many of the burrough's residents terrified to even leave their homes. A wealthy entrepeneur named Dr. Phineus Brightstone brought to New York a pack of wolves that had been trapped on his mining property in the Yukon. Keeping them as pets in his uptown penthouse, they escaped one day when an unsuspecting housekeeper came to Brightstone's penthouse at the start of her shift. Seeing the wolves wandering the place, she ran away in a panic, apparently leaving the door open. Wolves are known for their intelligence, and were able to find their way down the twenty stories of the building to street level, where they made their escape. For the next four months, they ate mostly garbage, and attacked a few stray cats, but avoided people altogether, as wolves are wont to do. This didn't stop Brooklynites from living in mortal terror of the wolves, and they demanded city authorities do something about them. City council first proposed deputizing a posse to roam the neighborhood with rifles to hunt the wolves down, but this proved prohibitively expensive to even organize. The next idea was to poison the garbage, but this was estimated to cost even more. In the end, Brooklyn residents themselves took matters into their own hands - a mob cornered the pack in an open sewer, doused them in kerosene, and set them on fire. While most agreed that this was the end of the Brooklyn Wolf Plague, some contended that a few wolves escaped, and lent their genes to the often unusually large breed of strays still found in the burrough to this day. - Legends and Bizarre Facts of New York, U.N Owen, 1956.
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