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

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

Just Posted

City council wants Nanaimo to be considered as a potential pilot site for safely supplied drugs

Council votes 6-3 to write to B.C. Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions

Truck loses a wheel in crash, keeps going, crashes again on Nanaimo’s Townsite Road

One person taken to hospital following accident Tuesday afternoon

Nanaimo company offering free soil for self-isolators to get into gardening

Milner Group inviting the public to pick up soil at its Biggs Road recycling facility on Saturday

Nanaimo man, allegedly drunk and high, arrested after climbing 100-foot tree

Man in sandals climbs fir tree, hurls obscenities at police below

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: RDN’s essential services maintained during pandemic

Regional District of Nanaimo chairman thanks residents for co-operation and understanding

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

Nanaimo bylaw officers on the lookout for COVID-19 control infractions

Bylaw and health officers watch for health order infractions, citizens can call in complaints

Nanaimo barbershop quartet records musical tribute to Dr. Bonnie Henry

Ode to provincial health officer is to the tune of a singing valentine

Nanaimo’s Lauren Spencer-Smith advances to American Idol top 20

Teen performs Respect at outdoor concert in Hawaii

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

Nanaimo will be the community hardest-hit by ferry layoffs, union says

B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union looking at its legal options

Comox spring training cancelled for Snowbirds next month

The team announced that due to ongoing travel restrictions they will not be training in the Valley

Most Read