HARVEY HUMCHITT JR. PHOTO A screenshot from the YouTube video of a wolf encounter Harvey Humchitt Jr. filmed in 2013.

Island lighthouse keeper chased by wolf

He now has some important advice for anyone else caught in a similar situation

Cape Scott Provincial Park, on the northern tip of Vancouver Island, is known for its sandy beaches and old-growth rainforest, but it’s also a place where it’s not uncommon to spot a wolf.

Harvey Humchitt Jr. was born and raised on the coast in Bella Bella and has been working as the Cape Scott Lighthouse Keeper for 18 years, and also has been with the Coast Guard for over 25. Throughout his extensive career working on the coast in remote locations, this first week of December was the only time in his life that Humchitt Jr. has ever been chased by a wolf.

“I’d just left the radio room and I was on my way to check my fuel – along the way I heard a rustling in the brush and I turned my flashlight toward the sound and out lunges this really young wolf,” said Humchitt Jr., in an interview with the Gazette.

He immediately saw that the gate was open and ran back towards the house, when the wolf gave chase.

“It caught up to me when I got to the gate – it was close enough to take a bite and it did, three snaps,” said Humchitt Jr, adding, “In all my years I’ve never ever heard of a wolf giving chase to a person before.”

After making it inside the house just in time, the reality of the situation hit him. “I think every single one of my senses were 100 per cent in operation and my adrenaline was really high. I could feel my heart just racing,” said Humchitt Jr., adding, “When I got in the house the fear hit me, and I realized how close I was to getting bitten by a wolf.”

Humchitt Jr. has seen many wolves before at the light station, but mostly they are just passing through and he’s spotted them from a safe distance. He even filmed a clip of a wolf visit a few years ago and put it up on his YouTube channel.

However, after the encounter, he did some research and checked in with some wolf specialists and learned he was actually at fault for the near attack.

“My action of running caused the wolf to give chase, because wolves are called course hunters meaning they kill their prey on the run, so if I stopped running and faced the wolf and started walking backward I wouldn’t have been chased by the wolf any longer,” he explained.

Humchitt Jr. said since the experience he has learned that the proper thing to do if you come face to face with a wolf is stand your ground and make yourself really big.

If you have a jacket, unzip it and flip it up over your head to make yourself look bigger than normal and then back away slowly.

As a last resort, the best thing to do is curl into a ball and protect all of your vital organs and hope the wolf backs off.

“It was one of the things that made me think that when they say these creatures out in the wild are unpredictable they really mean it – they’re unpredictable,” he said.

Humchitt Jr. added he hopes that his experience will help educate people, rather than deter them from visiting Cape Scott. He stated he wants “everybody to enjoy their experience at Cape Scott, it is such a beautiful park – there has never been an attack on a human reported at Cape Scott and we are lucky that way.”

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Victoria Flamenco Festival goes virtual for 2020 event

The show will go online from July 23 to 26

Metchosin bird card project finds its wings

On display at Metchosin ArtPod from July 10 to 12

UVic research team creating virus-resistant washbasins for post-pandemic world

Civil engineer Rishi Gupta hopes basins will be installed in public spaces

Walk for Peace takes a virtual turn for Victoria Hospice

Residents can still register for Gordy Dodd’s 11th annual fundraiser

United Way Greater Victoria launches Hi Neighbour program in Esquimalt

Feedback sought from residents about funding for micro community projects

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Annual music event in Comox Valley celebrates online instead

Vancouver Island MusicFest holds virtual celebration set for July 10

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Most Read