Motion detection wildlife cameras caught this image of a wolf at The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve’s Willowbrae-Halfmoon Bay Trail. (Photo - Pacific Rim National Park Reserve)

West Coast wolf sightings spark warning to keep pets safe

Wolf observed around Ucluelet has shown no signs of being threat to public safety

Pet owners living on or visiting the Pacific Rim are being urged to keep their dogs and cats secured after a wolf was spotted in Ucluelet last week.

Andrew Riddell of the Conservation Officer Service said the COS has received reports of wolf sightings and is monitoring the situation, but does not believe the animal is a threat to public safety.

“I haven’t gotten any information that would cause any kind of concern for the residents in Ucluelet,” he told the Westerly News, adding the COS has “zero intention” of euthanizing or relocating the wolf based on its reported behaviour so far.

He added, though, that pets should not be left outdoors unattended.

“It’s always best practice and safe practice to keep your pets on leashes,” he said.

Carla Anderson of Ocean Pet Supplies told the Westerly that pet owners must be extra vigilant when wolf activity is being reported.

“If there’s a wolf sighting in town like this, I don’t let my cat out. She’s inside 24/7, much to her disgust…She can suck it up and just stay inside,” Anderson said.

“Keep your dog on a leash when you’re in conspicuous areas like trails and things like that. Check behind you when you’re walking and just be aware of your surroundings. Don’t let them [dogs or cats] free-roam.”

Riddell said anyone who spots a wolf in the community should immediately report their sighting to the COS at 1-877-952-7277. He said many residents are posting about their wolf sightings on Facebook, but aren’t taking the important step of calling conservation officers as well.

“People do talk on social media and that’s great that they’re warning each other, but it would also be nice if, at the same time, they took a little bit of time just to give us a call and make that report so we can track the wolf,” he said.

“A lot of work is going on into researching wolf activity and behaviour on the West Coast. We want to know if they’re coming further into town or more frequently into town or if they’re having more interactions with people on trails and on beaches.”

Anderson said that if the COS does not receive reports of a wolf in time, they might not be able to haze the animal out before it becomes habituated and comfortable enough around humans to pose a threat.

“The importance of reporting sightings and encounters to the COS is so that when the animal makes that switch from a sighting, which is normal behaviour, to an encounter, which is the start of habituation, the conservation officers can step in and haze that animal and keep it safe,” she said. “My motto is: ‘Haze them to save them.’”

READ MORE: VIDEO: Tofino wolf sighting awes AdventureSmart coordinator

READ MORE: Conservation Officer says wolves that attacked dog in Tofino will not be killed

READ MORE: Wolf killed in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve between Tofino and Ucluelet



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mayor not in favour of low barrier housing at Oak Bay Lodge

Process is already in place to determine future of Oak Bay Lodge

Minivan driver’s speed a factor in fatal 2018 Malahat crash

Driver was travelling at 110 km/h in a construction zone

Police watchdog reviewing Victoria police-involved crash

VicPD officer collided with another car in downtown intersection

Architect plans to revitalize Victoria ‘gateways,’ including Wellburns building

Wood-construction apartments planned for Scott, Wellburn’s buildings

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

Vancouver Island business ad unintentionally features OK gesture linked to white supremacy

Innocuous ‘OK’ gesture in cleaning franchise advertisement gets flak on social media for ‘supposedly’ promoting white supremacy

Comox Valley RCMP looking for missing woman

Ami Guthrie was last seen in Courtenay in early July

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Most Read