We have wolves coming into town, its easy pickens; we make it make it easer for wild animals like wolves and coyotes when we do this on the ouside a golf course the same golf course were wolves frequent. Or giving the wild animals a reason to come closer!!!
Wolves living near humans.
In BC Canada we have an estimated 8000 thousand wolves; wolves by nature are timid animals and are very rarely seen in the wilds. Wolves don’t like people, and tend to stay away. When we look at the Pack that live on Kaien Island, we see that wolves frequent town for a variety of reasons and if you ask people on the street what they think; you will get a thousand different answers to why they think the wolves are coming in and what should be done with them.
Why do wolves come into town?
There are a few reasons wolves come into town.
1. Deer, Prince Rupert has a lot of deer in the city.
2. We have lots of green space or micro forests. (plenty area to hide in)
3. Garbage, Prince Rupert is a dirty town. Wantage road near the golf course is littered with garbage and people dump out there deer, moose and elk remains giving the wolves a reason to come closer to town.
4. People feeding wolves, wolves are still being hand fed by people in town.
Some wolves have become habituated to humans.
Wild wolves that have attacked people tend to be wolves that have become accustom to human through different types of interactions. When we look at wolf attacks we noticed that wolf attacks happened where humans and wolves frequent the same areas such as Parks Canada and the outside of towns and rural areas. When you look at all the attacks that have happened in the past in BC it becomes clear that the wolves were conditioned to people or habituated to humans through direct contact through feeding.
So with that, let’s look at the behavior we are seeing with the wolves and who is really at fault. Wolves can become conditioned to humans; we are seeing some wolves that come into town following the deer, when their in town, wolves find there is easer food choices for them, garbage and other smaller animals. Wolves are smart animals and will feed of the leftover’s of humanity. We also have stupid human’s who feed the wolves thinking their doing that animal a favor, feeding wolves is against the law don’t do it. you’re not doing that animal a favor you are putting it into danger and other humans who may come in contact with that wolf.
Once a wolf sees humans as a food option they will connect humans too food and come looking all the time expecting the human too throw food at them.; And if the human has no food to throw at the wolf the wolf may become more aggressive. There are few wolves with this pack that are highly habituated to humans.
If we learned anything about wild animals is that wild animals can become dependent on humans. And the end result will be a
conflict with people or pets. Both of which can be avoided.
1. Don’t dump garbage and animal remains outside of town.
2. Don’t feed wild animals, deer, wolves, or stay domesticated animals.
3. Don’t feed pets outdoors.
4. Put all garbage into proper garbage cans with lids on them.
5. If you see a wolf in town through rocks, stick, yell and wave your arms around.
Wolves need to know they are not welcome in town, that people are something to be afraid of. Wolves will get the message and stay away. But if we keep doing the above we will always have a conflict and someone will get hurt.
Wolves by nature have different personalities like humans, some wolves are shy some wolves may be bolder. While environment and life experiences modify genetic behavior, evidence is mounting that individuals are born with innate tendencies toward boldness or shyness.
From the website;Learn more about wolves.
Evolutionary psychologists theorize that a diversity of reactions to strange stimuli are retained in populations rather than one behavior being selected for and the other totally weeded out because environments change constantly. Individuals with one behavior may survive and reproduce better for awhile. But by the time a few more generations roll by, environmental conditions usually change enough so that individuals born with a different reaction to a novel opportunity survive better and live to pass on their genes.
It’s interesting to theorize how differing innate wolf personality types may be selected for or against by humans. Throughout most of North America, for at least the last century, humans heavily persecuted wolves. Wolves were shot on sight. Any individuals who did not retreat and stay out of sight of humans were killed before they were able to pass on the genetics of “boldness” to offspring. Hence it is not unreasonable to speculate that innately shy wolves became more and more common in wolf populations. With the creation of National Parks and laws that protect wolves, persecution of any bolder animals still being born lessened. In areas where wolves are protected there may in fact be a selective advantage for bolder, less shy individuals. Bolder animals are less bothered by the myriad’s of humans swarming throughout wild areas and can proceed about the business of hunting and raising families without constantly expending energy seeking cover and staying out of sight.
While the reasons may be speculative, there is general agreement among wolf biologists that the number of bold wolves is increasing. However the sixty-four thousand-dollar question isn’t whether they’re increasing but what should be “done” about bold wolves. Are bold wolves “unnatural”? Are they likely to become “bad” wolves-wolves that threaten human safety? If so, should bold wolves be eliminated as soon as they are identified?
At this time, there is no convincing evidence that bold wolves are aggressive or dangerous. Therefore, there is no need to eliminate a wolf just because it does not run in terror at the sight of a human. These animals are not unnaturally bold (i.e. animals that did not exist before protection of wolves was imposed) but more likely a return to the normal personality variations that existed before wolf populations were subjected to extreme persecution by European immigrants to North America.
While bold wolves may be more likely to learn to exploit humans for food in the form of handouts or garbage, the rewards for such behavior can also attract shy individuals. Once that step is taken, whether it is by a “naturally” bold or shy individual, there is ample evidence that the animal is likely to become dangerous and should be destroyed. A fed wolf is a dead wolf and those who feed wolves should be viewed with the disdain they deserve. The people who leave garbage lying around or tempt a wolf with handouts would.
With that being said, we are all responsible, if we don’t do something about illegal dumping of garbage and animal parts, if we don’t stop feeding wild animals and domesticated pets outdoors. We all become the problem and unfortunate for the wild animal that become accustomed to handout from us, they will feel the full effect.
If a child get hurts from a wild animal such as a wolf it will be from our own actions. Wild animals have millions of years of instinctive behavior bred into them.
It’s that simple. No matter what you feel about it, no matter if you think I’m wrong. Its up to each and everyone to do what is right.
We can still have a positive outcome if we follow some simple steps.
WOLF ENCOUNTERS ARE BEING WATCHED CLOSELY, SAY COâ€™S
But conservation officers do not plan on culling the Kaien Island population
By Kris Schumacher
The Daily News
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Pages one and three
As horrible as it is that wolves are preying on the pet population of Prince Rupert, local conservation officials say the behavior is not unusual, given the nature of the animals and the location of the community.
Conservation officers in Terrace have received numerous reports of wolf activity in and around Prince Rupert in the past month, including at least three separate incidents in which dogs have been attacked and/or killed, and at least one report of a cat being eaten. The officers say they realize the severity of what has been happening, but say any course of action they take will be based on a case-by-case basis.
â€œThe control options that we have in dealing with wolves are very limited,â€ said Chris Price, a conservation officer based in Terrace.
â€œThe traditional control methods for wolves around trapping have been the use of leg-hold traps or killing snares, and these arenâ€™t really an option in an urban environment. We have to make sure, if we take any action, that weâ€™re not putting public safety at risk.
Price says shooting is the measure used most often when officials have identified a wolf or several wolves that are behaving in a manner they feel present a risk to the public. Behavior that would warrant such an extreme course of action is considered to be signs of heavy conditioning to being around people and vehicles, where it is obvious the animals have lost their natural fear of people.
â€œWolves in the wild are usually quite timid creatures, and they donâ€™t consider people to be anything but a threat to them,â€ said Price.
â€œHowever, when they get into these urban environments, they quickly become adapted to living around people and things associated with people, and they learn to capitalize on it go get food.â€
Usually, wolves enter urban areas in search of their natural prey, in this case deer that have learned they are safer in a residential setting or are being fed by people.
As wolves are drawn into the urban environment, they too realize that humans do not pose a threat to them and begin to adapt to the occasional encounters.
â€œCertainly hand-feeding is one of the main things that will result in a wolf becoming habituated and a risk to public safety, and therefore handfeeding is illegal under the Wildlife Act and a very dangerous practice,said Price.
â€œWe dont encourage people to attract deer to their yards, because if theres a high population of deer frequenting an area, thats very attractive to a
do not keep regular office hours, so they rely on phone messages to record reports and alert them of any new wildlife conflicts that may arise.
Price says officials are monitoring the situation very closely, and officers have been dispatched to Prince Rupert several times since Nov. 30 to address the areas they are receiving the most complaints from.
Were discussing other options we could take if necessary, where we feel the situation is posing a risk to the public and we need to cull the pack and eliminate some of the problem animals.
Were looking at differing options we could use to address that, but, like I say, our options are limited in an urban environment and we dont want public safety at risk.â€
The most recent incident on Tuesday morning where a golden retriever was attacked by a pack of four wolves did alarm conservation officials, but they are treating it much the same as the other dog attacks from last month.
â€œAny action we take will be on a case-by-case basis, theres no threshold where well say all right, were going in and shooting any wolf we see, said Price.
â€œItâ€™s not an unnatural behavior for wolves to prey on dogs. In the most recent case, the wolves did back off when the people approached, didnt make any aggressive moves toward the people, allowed them to retrieve their dog and leave the area.â€
The conservation office in Terrace is urging residents to report any and all sightings of, or contact with wolves, as it is the only means they have for identifying the problem areas and possibly the animals that are posing the most threat to public safety. The number people can call is 1-877-952-7277, which will register reports in their Problem Wildlife Database which officers can check and use to keep track of conflicts.
SHAKEN-UP DUO SOUND WARNING AFTER NEW WOLF ATTACK
By Kris Schumacher
The Daily News
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Pages one and three
The latest chapter in Prince Ruperts ongoing interaction with local wolves played out yesterday morning on the grounds of the Prince Rupert Golf Club.
Charter fishermen and good friends Randy Janzen and Steve Hardie decided to make the best of the snow and take their golden retrievers for their usual morning walk on the upper Westside.
Starting at the Oldfield Creek Hatchery at 8:45 a. m., the two walked with their dogs onto the golf course where the older of the two pets ran off ahead.
All of a sudden we heard my buddys dog screaming and yelping, so we both took off as fast as we could over the little hill and there were four wolves on him, said Janzen.
The pack of four were all on him, tearing at him.
Acting on both instinct and a knowledge of how to ward off wolves, the two men ran at the attacking pack yelling at the top of their lungs with arms waving, in hopes of scaring them away.
Fortunately, their distraction was enough to startle the wolves and gave Thompson enough time to break loose and run back to Hardie.
The wolves just kind of stood there looking at us while we were waving out arms and freaking out,said Janzen.
Luckily, we got our dogs back and jus took off running, and his dog was actually unhurt. But we were really lucky, and the fact there were four of them is whats freaking us out.
Janzen says all four were large and healthy, not the starving, mangy animals that are more prone to travel closer to town in search of a potential food source. Also noteworthy is the size of Thompson â€“ he weighs in at 165 pounds and was as big as any of his attackers.
My dog Sattie, is just a six month old pup, so it was lucky she didn’t take off as fast, said Janzen. â€œBut Thompson is a huge dog, you’ve never seen a golden (retriever) this big in your life.â€
He said that even though there is a lot of wolf activity going on at the moment, when there are only one or two wolves involved in each situation it is easier for residents and conservation officers to think of them as isolated incidents.
Itâ€™s when there are whole packs coming into town, attacking animals and showing no fear of humans that things start to get really scary, said Janzen.
â€œIf itâ€™s kids, thats a whole other thing, and hopefully thats not what it takes to get some light shed on this problem, he said.
â€œBut even pets are like kids to a lot of people too, so thats bad enough.
Shaken up and concerned about what could soon turn into another pet fatality of worse, the two friends called conservation officers in Terrace to report the incident and to find out what can be done. Janzen says the response from the conservation officers was shock that four wolves were all involved in the attack, and they told him that thy were currently exploring options for dealing with the wolf problem in Prince Rupert.
Habituated, Hybrid and â€œDomesticâ€ Wolves on the Lamb
Jess Edberg, Information Services Director — International Wolf Center, 12/13/2007
Four separate reports in four days surfaced this month regarding animals that look like wild wolves but donâ€™t seem to act like them. Alaska, Washington, Idaho and Utah had recent problems with wolves that were habituated to humans, socialized or hybridized by people. Where are these animals coming from and why now?
With the current political, legal and emotional controversy surrounding wolves in North America, any wolf news seems to provide material for media outlets. However, the majority of these â€œproblem wolvesâ€ arenâ€™t actually normally-behaving wild wolves at all; they are products of human behavior.
Human-habituated wolves, for example, are wolves that have lost some or all of their natural avoidance behavior toward humans typically due to a source of human-provided food. Think of Yogi Bear going after the unattended picnic basket. Wolves are just as resourceful as that cartoon character, and so is other wildlife. For an animal like the wolf that requires great amounts of energy to hunt and kill live prey, a source of food that presents itself with little or no energy output is not something to ignore. Unfortunately, once a wolf or wolf pack discovers a source of food that is relatively easy to acquire, it becomes a resource that is tapped often. The more food the wolves get, the more reinforced that behavior becomes and eventually, the wolves no longer see humans as something to avoid but, rather, something that may provide food.
Habituation to humans is a preventable problem that can be avoided by practicing responsible human habits such as proper disposal of trash, appropriate storage of food or just giving a wild animal ample space rather than encouraging it to come closer for a photo opportunity.
Two other kinds of â€œproblem wolvesâ€ arenâ€™t technically wild wolves either. Wolf-dog hybrids and wolves kept as pets may contain wolf genes; however, they have been raised and socialized by, or imprinted on by humans. A common mistake is calling these animals â€œdomesticatedâ€ wolves. The process of domestication takes hundreds of generations of selective breeding and possibly thousands of years to obtain a truly domestic animal, such as the dog.
Nevertheless, pet wolves are often called domesticated. Is it a misunderstanding of the process of domestication or because the word domestic refers to all things dwelling in a home, including pets? Regardless, pet wolves are far from being domesticated. Natural, wild instincts do not go away once a wolf steps indoors and becomes a member of a human family.
These instincts are also present in wolf-dog hybrids, a result of interbreeding by wolves and dogs, usually in captivity. It is rare for a wild wolf to breed with a domestic dog; in fact, wolves typically see dogs as competition when encountered in the wild. The wolves will often chase, attack and in many cases kill dogs that are perceived by the wolves to be trespassing in their territory.
A hybrid is like a Jack-in-the-box. From the outside, it may have the characteristic look of a wolf or a dog that gives an owner an unrealistic sense of certainty over how the animal will behave as it develops. However, hybrid behaviors are truly unpredictable. Due to a mixture of both wild and domestic genes, their behavioral growth is a mystery just like when the jack will pop out of the box. A hybrid may mature between 12 to 36 months of age, which is the range for a wolf, or as early as a dog, at 8 months of age. This maturity age dictates when the animal develops its adult behaviors.
The behaviors associated with maturity are extremely unpredictable. In many cases, these animals change from a submissive, youthful pup to a challenging, sometimes aggressive adult animal that is too much for the owner to handle. Although there are hybrid and wolf rescue shelters around the country, these facilities cannot keep up with the supply of unwanted or unmanageable animals. In some cases, these animals are illegally released into the wildâ€“even if they are not native to the area or there are no wild wolves presentâ€“to avoid euthanasia. This may sound like a humane alternative to putting the animals down but, in reality these animals have little chance of surviving in the wild.
Although the animals may have some or all of the genes of a wolf, they are entering the wild with no fear of humans. In most cases, these animals head directly for the nearest home or farm in search of food and often end up shot by local wildlife or animal control officials.
If they are not killed or captured, they have the potential to wreak havoc on communities by creating fear and loss of livestock or pets. In many cases, the animal is thought to be a wild wolf until it is caught or killed and examined. Unfortunately, the fear, mistrust and sometimes hatred for real wild wolves have already developed.
Why have there been so many more news stories about these animals in recent months? It is difficult to know. Possibly, people are encountering wolves more often and giving wolves an opportunity to become habituated. Maybe more hybrid or wolf owners are finding it impossible to handle their animals for one reason or another. Is this something that has occurred at the same rate in the past but now the media finds it to be a popular topic? There are too many questions to answer. The important message is that things are not always what they seem.
The International Wolf Center encourages individuals to be critical when reading, watching or listening to wolf-related news. Misconceptions abound, and responsible people seek out the truth in media information. The Center provides information services for this reason and challenges individuals to ask questions and take part in reporting accurate wolf information.
Wolves have been here forever on the island, there have been stories that go way back years and years. I have heard stories this last year about coyotes from reliable sources, but I have never seen them, and still haven’t. but we do have a picture taken near the sea plane base.
The last few months, we have seen and heard the local wolf (Canis lupus) pack in and around Prince Rupert, B.C. more than usual. The wolves last week have been spotted on the east of town, and can be heard howling in the evening and in the morning, We have also heard of one confirmed case were a dog was snatched and killed by a wolf. As of today the wolves seem to be on the west side of town near the golf course. This weekend I will be going out and trying to photograph them in the snow.
You have to love small towns, you can not say a negative thing about someone before it gets back to them. This seems to be happening as more locals find my website. Here are some comments that have gotten back to me and my wife.
“no one can get that close to take a picture without bating them”
“they are the reason that the wolves are coming into town”
All I have to say is “I don’t care what you think, we don’t bait, we spent lots of time; day and night tracking them.
We don’t bait wolves, the wolves that we have taken pictures of have been the one and two year old wolves, these wolves are inquisitive and will come up to a person, we are always in control of the situation and if a wolf gets to close we throw rocks or sticks at it, (not before I get some video or photo’s)
If you have a question; don’t hesitate to email us.