A wolf was seen in a resident’s backyard in Port Hardy. (Al Dodd photo)

A wolf was seen in a resident’s backyard in Port Hardy. (Al Dodd photo)

Conservation officers awaiting reports of wolves at the door in Port Hardy

Wildlife officials need more direct concrete information before reacting, as social media buzzes

Growing anecdotal reports of wolf sightings in Port Hardy have not become a concern for the authorities yet.

Officials say only three reports so far have been filed and it’s hard to say if there is a public safety issue emerging until more evidence is gathered.

Brad Adams, a conservation officer stationed in Port McNeill, said it’s challenging for CO’s to pinpoint what’s causing the wolves to wander into town, noting that while the North Island is a remote rural area with an abundance of wildlife, the main driving factor could potentially be the feral pet population.

Once CO’s receive reports of wolves being seen in town, Adams said they actively look at where the wolf has been, and it’s behaviour while in the area.

“Our process would be to collect as much information from community members as possible, so we can decide whether the wolf is habituated to the area or to a food source — until we get that info it’s hard to make a decision.”

He noted residents should keep their pets indoors, keep them close when going out to use the bathroom at night, and if you happen to see a wolf, disengage from the area “to avoid a bad situation.”

As for the tough subject of euthanization, Adams said it’s not as simple a decision whether to euthanize or not.

“Once we are able to get the information on the animals there’s a lot of different factors,” he said. “It’s not about collecting information to euthanize, it’s about getting information to help mitigate the situation.”

He added if you see a wild animal in town, please call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.

“Conservation officers don’t monitor Facebook, we need people to contact us and let us know what you’ve seen.”

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RELATED: South Islanders calling for pause on wolf hunting as pack sightings drop

RELATED: Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves


@NIGazette
editor@northislandgazette.com

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