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

Just Posted

VIDEO: North Island Bantam Eagles tie Dawson Creek Canucks in front of massive hometown crowd in Port Hardy

The Tier 3 Bantam Championships continued in style last night at the Don Cruickshank Memorial Arena.

Port Hardy RCMP’s 2018 fourth quarter crime stats are in

Port Hardy RCMP Staff Sgt. Wes Olsen spoke to Port Hardy council March 12.

Port Alice’s Scotiabank branch closing for good next month

Port Alice is going through a transition to a more diversified economy that includes tourism.

VIDEO: North Island Bantam Eagles blast Kelowna Rockets in first game of the Championships in Port Hardy

The Eagles are back in action at 7:30 p.m. tonight against the Dawson Creek KFC Canucks.

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

B.C. wildfire prevention budget bulked up as dry spring unfolds

Night vision goggles tested for early detection effort

Vernon ordered to reinstate terminated firefighters caught having sex at work

City believes arbitration board erred, exploring options

Dozens of B.C. temperature records smashed as spring brings early warmth

Squamish Airport was the hottest spot in all of Canada on Monday

Hackers seek holes in B.C. Hydro power grid, auditor says

System meets standards, but local outages still a concern

B.C. RCMP stop cyclist with no helmet, find out he’s wanted for murder

Kyle Antonio Dias, 19, to face second-degree murder charge in Toronto

British Columbia Teachers’ Federation welcomes new leader

Teri Mooring will take over as president this summer

Disappearance of Merritt cowboy now deemed suspicious: police

Ben Tyner was reported missing when his riderless horse was discovered on a logging road

Distillers hope federal budget scraps alcohol escalator tax

Tax hike set for April 1, marking third automatic increase in three years time

Most Read