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

Federal government actions hurt Sooke hatchery fundraising efforts

Funding denial comes on the heels of fishing closures

SD62 student places third in province-wide French competition

12-year-old Sasha Zandieh won third with a speech on poet Pablo Neruda

Island athlete goes from hoop dreams to icy track

Cyrus Gray hopes to punch his ticket to Olympics in bobsleigh

Jesse Roper learns to create fire in the wild, in Sacred Knowledge web series

Ragnarock Studios production shares primitive skills with Islanders

Oak Bay researcher’s Canadian English dictionary goes to print

How an unknown American hobbyist sparked a Canadian dictionary

Police release photos of suspect in daytime sex assault at Vancouver woman’s home

A young woman, in hers 20s, was followed home by the man, before he violently attacked her inside

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Most Read