Ron Douglas’ dog Zeus needed to be stitched up after a fight with a wolf in Hitacu last week. (Photo courtesy of Ron Douglas)

UPDATED: Wolf attacks dog in Vancouver Island First Nation community

Pet owners in Tofino and Ucluelet urged to be wary of predators

Ron Douglas wants the wolf that attacked his dog in Hitacu last week to be killed.

“I’d like to see the culprit shot and the other wolves to see it, to make an example,” Douglas told the Westerly News on May 7. “We have small kids here and who’s to say [if] they are next? They are smaller than Zeus.”

He said his adult children Amy and Devon woke up around 6 a.m. on May 1 to the sounds of what they initially thought was two dogs fighting but, when they went outside, they discovered the family dog Zeus, who Douglas described as a mastiff-shepherd cross, “had been dragged out of his hiding spot under his house.”

“Devon came out of his tent to find Zeus fighting the wolf and [Zeus] had [the wolf] pinned by the throat,” he said. “When the wolf saw him, they both looked up and the wolf ran off.”

He said Zeus suffered “many cuts and gashes” in the encounter and was rushed to an emergency vet in Nanaimo to receive stitches. He said Zeus is recovering well and suggested the dog’s spiked collar may have saved its life.

“The wolf tried to go for his neck,” he said.

Douglas said he has lived in Hitacu for about six years and believes wolves are becoming more habituated in the Ucluelet First Nation community.

“The wolves are here very often as dogs are barking nightly,” he said. “There are more and more sightings…Very bold to attack a full-sized dog.”

Sgt. Stuart Bates of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service told the Westerly News that the COS does not plan to kill the wolf and suggested the May 1 attack should serve as a reminder to all West Coast residents that they share a landscape with predators.

“Wolves will not tolerate dogs in their territory,” he said. “In particular here, wolves have simply learned to see dogs as competition and they also see them as a food source.”

Two habituated wolves were killed on the West Coast in 2017. One by the COS in Ucluelet and the other by Pacific Rim National Park Reserve personnel near Florencia Bay. The latter incident involved a wolf that had attacked a leashed dog next to its owner.

READ MORE: Wolf killed in Ucluelet

READ MORE: Wolf killed in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Bates said last week’s attack does not necessarily reflect concerning wolf activity because Zeus had been alone outside. He said the COS does not plan to kill the wolf, unless further reports of escalating behaviour come in.

“If there’s a person standing there and the wolf’s totally ignoring people, that’s a different ballgame…At this point, it’s not what we call human-habituated,” he said.

“We want to make sure we’ve taken all the necessary steps to prevent this conflict from reoccurring, because if whatever got the wolf in trouble in the first place isn’t corrected, another one will simply take its place. If everyone in Ucluelet and Tofino had their dogs running around willy-nilly and I shot a wolf every time one killed a dog, I’d run out of bullets before I ran out of wolves…It’s like garbage for bears, as long as the attractants are there, in this case it’s dogs, the wolves will just keep doing it.”

He encourages residents to report any wolf encounters to the COS at 1-877-952-7277 and added that descriptions or photos of the wolf can help determine next steps.

“Wolves are usually pretty distinctive and, if we have to, we will remove a wolf that starts to show aggressive or predatory behaviour against people,” he said. “But, we’d need enough reports to determine that we’re getting the right wolf.”

In the wake of the May 1 attack, the Pacific Rim chapter of WildSafeBC circulated tips on how to avoid conflicts with wildlife through its social media channels.

READ MORE: Wolf sightings in Ucluelet spark warnings to keep pets safe

READ MORE: Conservation Officer says wolves that attacked dog in Tofino will not be killed

READ MORE: VIDEO: Tofino wolf sighting awes AdventureSmart coordinator



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

2019 Federal election: Courtenay-Alberni candidates address seniors issues

“What are your party’s plans to ease the stress realized by seniors on fixed incomes?”

WATCH: Jordan now a key member on staff at Parksville business

Disability Awareness Month celebrated around province

RDN wants to play role in Ballenas track upgrade

Bringing dilapidated facility up to standard could cost close to $1M

Qualicum Beach joins in on global climate strike

Participants urge government to adequately address climate crisis

Coombs athlete, 91, brings home five gold medals from 55+ BC Games

Buschhaus now has 217 career senior games medals

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

Island music trivia tournament a hit on World Alzheimer’s Day

More than $13,000 raised by people naming that tune

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Most Read