SHAKEN-UP DUO SOUND WARNING AFTER NEW WOLF ATTACK


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 – 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. “But Thompson is a huge dog, you’ve never seen a golden (retriever) this big in your life.”

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.

It’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.

“If it’s kids, thats a whole other thing, and hopefully thats not what it takes to get some light shed on this problem, he said.

“But 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.

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