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Animal control trap set up on private land for roaming Coombs wolf-dog

Experts skeptical baited-trap method can work
A wolf-dog hybrid is roaming a rural area between Coombs and Errington for several months. (FLED photo via Facebook)

One of two traps remains active for a roaming wolf-dog hybrid in the Coombs area, with the second no longer in use.

Coastal Animal Control of B.C. confirmed it has a trap set on private land, but would not reveal the location.

A trap formerly monitored by FLED (Find lost and escaped dogs) and local volunteers is no longer active, according to Gary Shade, FLED co-founder.

FLED said it pulled out of the search because its members are not experienced with wolf-dogs, and had relied on experienced volunteers such Colleen Rowe.

Rowe, who has 15 years of experience rescuing and fostering wolf-dogs, said it became obvious over time that the trap method was not working.

The wolf-dog was seen multiple times trying to figure out a way to get the bait food without entering the trap, according to Rowe. The dog has been nicknamed WD-40 because it has proven so difficult and “slippery” to catch.

The effort was further complicated by people repeatedly triggering the trap, removing signs advising of the animal’s presence and letting their dogs eat the bait food, she added.

At least three dogs have reportedly been injured by the wolf-dog, and one was killed on Nov. 25 at Coombs Campground.

Oceanside RCMP responded that morning, when a family said their French Bulldog was killed by the wolf-dog.

“In the interest of public safety, an officer attended the area and searched for the animal, but it was not located,” said Sgt. Shane Worth in an email to the PQB News.

Tommy Garrison’s dog Gus reportedly spent four days at Central Island Veterinary Emergency Hospital in Nanaimo after an incident in a wood lot in Virginia Estates on Oct. 12.

RCMP have had conversations with Coastal Animal Control of B.C., B.C. Conservation Service and the Regional District of Nanaimo, but police are not leading the investigation into locating the animal, Worth added.

The animal was reportedly released by an owner and has been spotted numerous times since late August in an area stretching from Springhill Road to Coombs Country Campground — more than seven kilometres away.

READ MORE: Family says wolf-dog hybrid killed puppy at Coombs campground

Gary Allan is the owner/operator of SWELL Wolf Education Centre in Nanaimo and does not believe it’s possible to trap WD-40.

Not only are wolves highly intelligent, he explained, they are also very sensitive to changes in their environment and extremely avoidant of being contained.

“You’re not gonna trap this animal, it’s way too smart,” he said.

Rather than using a baited trap, Allan said, authorities should lure in WD-40 with a road kill deer in a clearing, and then hit it with a tranquilizer dart.

Allan added he is aware B.C. Conservation Service (COS) has said the wolf-dog does not fall under its jurisdiction, but he hopes COS will become involved.

“This wolf-dog does not need to be destroyed,” he said. “Remember, it did not ask to be relocated.”

The Regional District of Nanaimo’s website directs residents who encounter aggressive dogs or dogs at large to Coastal Animal Control Services of BC at 1-888-754-1397 or

Kevin Forsyth

About the Author: Kevin Forsyth

As a lifelong learner, I enjoy experiencing new cultures and traveled around the world before making Vancouver Island my home.
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