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Roaming wolf-dog continues to elude trap and expand range in PQB area

Speculation now that multiple animals may be behind sightings and attacks

The elusive wolf-dog known as WD-40 continues to roam and apparently expand his range in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area.

First reported in the Coombs area last fall, the animal has been sighted everywhere from French Creek to Qualicum Beach to Parksville.

It was reportedly released by an unidentified owner and there are numerous reports of attacks on domestic pets, including a French Bulldog killed while on leash at the Coombs Country Campground in November. The wolf-dog has been dubbed WD-40 because it has proven so difficult and “slippery” to catch.

There is speculation now that multiple animals may be behind the sightings and attacks.

Gary Shade, co-founder of FLED (Find lost and escaped dogs), said he has received photos where the animal’s fur has a different colour pattern.

“We’ve seen a couple of pictures that just don’t look like him,” he said, and added that some photos show black legs, contrasted with WD-40’s mostly tan legs. “It could have been the phone they were using to take a picture, I don’t know.”

A Feb. 7 social media post placed the wolf-dog near Morningstar Creek and expressed concern the animal was looking “skinny”.

“He’s not skinny looking. He’s got a nice weight on him,” said Shade. “He’s getting fed every day, the girl’s giving him really good, high quality dog food.”

The animal has become comfortable with a volunteer who feeds him regularly.

“He’ll come up and he plays with her a bit. She can’t touch him. He kind of jumps around,” Shade said.

He is concerned the wolf-dog will be killed, “there’s a guy with a crossbow looking for him.”

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

Shade is also worried the volunteer will be harassed if identified.

FLED’s goal is to transport it the wolf-dog to Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary in Cochrane, Alta.

Shade hopes the Conservation Officer Service (COS), which has so far indicated the animal is outside its jurisdiction, will assist.

An inquiry to sanctuary did not receive an immediate reply.

A baited trap previously monitored by local volunteers and FLED has not been active for months since it became clear the method was not working.

Coastal Animal Control Services (CAC) of BC, contracted by the Regional District of Nanaimo, continues its effort to trap the wolf-dog.

In an emailed statement, the COS said it continues assist to CAC by offering advice and support, and lending equipment.

Conservation officers have also helped connect CAC to additional resources, such as the BC Trappers Association.

“We understand the concern and frustration people have expressed about this animal,” the statement said. “We understand CAC is continuing its capture and monitor efforts, and we will be notified if the animal is safely captured.”

MLA Adam Walker said the situation is “hugely disruptive”, particularly for the community members who want to walk the trails without fear.

“The real challenge is that this animal, early on, some of the attempts to trap it, you know, you had local community members that were interfering with some of the initial attempts to trap it,” Walker said. “So, it’s very leery about being trapped or even having interactions with humans. That’s why they call it WD-40, it’s a very slippery animal that’s very hesitant about being around humans.”

Walker said he has brought the issue up with his colleagues at the Ministry of the Environment, but because it’s considered a domestic animal, COS is not involved, although the Province recognizes the impact it is having on the community.

He’s heard from several residents who have encountered the wolf-dog, including one person who paid a $10,000 veterinary bill.

The animal turned up at Walker’s property this winter, and he heard it make a barking/howling noise.

“It was in my neighbour’s yard in the morning and then my wife was doing something with the Christmas lights and saw it in the backyard,” he said. “And as you can imagine, it’s not a pleasant thing to look over and see.”

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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