The B.C. Conservation Officer Service is warning residents of Port Edward to be on the lookout for wolves after a dog was attacked and killed Wednesday morning in the North Coast community.
“We’ve had a number of reports over the last few weeks of wolves entering the Port Edward community,” said Sgt. Tracy Walbauer based in nearby Terrace.
“We’ve attended a number of times trying to to locate wolves that are in the community where they should not be, but it’s been unsuccessful to this point,” Walbauer told Daybreak North host Carolina de Ryk.
Two dogs attacked
Walbauer said that another dog was attacked 10 days earlier in the municipality that’s home to about 500 residents.
“It’s not completely out of the ordinary. We do have issues in other communities — Kitimat is another community where we have some issues,” he said.
“Wolves will begin to feed on whatever prey becomes easy and I know that Port Edward and Kitimat have a fairly high feral cat population.”
Another draw for wolves are deer.
“Breeding season for wolves is coming upon us. And when that happens … they span out a little bit more in their areas,” said Walbauer.
“And if they come across dogs and things like that they may have a tendency to try and lure dogs in.”
Possibly from Prince Rupert
Wolves are common in coastal areas, especially in Prince Rupert and Kitimat, said Walbauer.
“We’re not getting a lot of complaints in and around Prince Rupert itself right now,” he said.
“So that kind of follows the same theory that we believe … maybe this pack has moved out of the Rupert area and over towards Port Ed for a while, following potentially deer or other prey species.”
Walbauer recommends keeping pets on a leash and asks that people report sightings to the conservation officer service.
“Statistics are fairly low that wolves attack humans — not that that hasn’t happened — but it’s not as high of a risk as it would be say for cougars or for bears,” he said.
“People should still conduct their activities and enjoy the wilderness, but they just need to be very aware of what they’re doing, make noise and take precautions.”