Wolf sightings rise in isolated B.C. coastal town
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Residents of Prince Rupert, B.C., are getting nervous about the number of wolves turning up around town.
In less than a year, there have been 136 wolf sightings reported by the residents of the isolated coastal community.
The wolves have been spotted at the golf course, in backyards, even prowling around the civic centre, drawn to the city’s population of wild deer. There have also been reports they have been stalking small pets.
Mayor Herb Pond told CBC News that his own close encounter with a pair of wolves was unnerving. “When that second wolf sort of popped out from the woods behind me, I thought, oh, I’m glad I’m in my car.”
Pond respects the wolves’ place in the wild, but he said it is a different story when they start trotting through town.
Earlier this year, the province declared an open hunting season on wolves in some parts of the north to help protect endangered caribou herds. Pond, however, said there are no plans to cull the wolf pack around Prince Rupert.
Conservation Officer Chris Pryce agreed killing the wolves is not the solution because a new pack would soon take their place.
“Wolves are natural to this area. I think what we’d like to see is a reduction in that habituation, so the wolves stay outside of town,” Pryce told CBC News.
So far there have been no reports of the wolves attacking humans, but some of the wolves appear to have lost their fear of humans, creating what the mayor calls a challenging situation.
“When wolves come into our backyards, we need to make sure people feel safe,” Pond said.