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Wolf attacks dog in Prince Rupert on B.C. north coast

Attempt to scare wolf off with bear-bangers fails, but family pet escapes with no injuries
A dog escaped a wolf attack at the beach off the Butze Rapids trail July 19. (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife photo)

A family dog escaped serious injury earlier today during a wolf attack on the Butze Rapids walking trail outside of Prince Rupert.

According to an RCMP press release, a family spending time at the beach off the end of the trail was approached by the wolf and despite the intervention of another nearby family with bear-bangers, the wolf attacked the medium-sized dog.

“We are encouraging those who regularly walk Butze Rapids walking trail to either avoid the area for the time being or come prepared for interactions with wildlife,” said Const. Brody Hemrich, media relations officer for the Prince Rupert detachment.

“Although situations like this are rare, sightings and interactions with wildlife in and around Prince Rupert are not. It is unusual to have a wolf not be afraid of humans despite the families making lots of noise and [using] scare devices.”

Police are encouraging people to review the BC government’s recommendations for staying safe around wolves and coyotes.

According to the site, interactions where wolves display aggressive behaviour is rare, but offers the following tips if they do.

  • Make yourself look as large as possible
  • Wave your arms and throw objects at the wolf or coyote
  • Shout at the wolf or coyote in a loud aggressive voice
  • If the wolf or coyote continues to approach, don’t run or turn your back, continue to exaggerate the above gestures and slowly move to safety.

The website also notes that the use of scare devices, such as bear bangers, horns or sirens has been shown to be effective. However, wolves and other predators may adapt quickly, therefore it is important to alter how such devices are deployed.

Chemical repellents have not been shown to significantly reduce wolf or coyote attacks, but they may deter their behaviour temporarily to allow time to get to safety.

Persons who witness any wildlife acting aggressively are asked to call 9-1-1 in an emergency.

Alternatively, to report a sighting that is potentially unsafe call the Prince Rupert RCMP at 250-624-2136 or BC Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.

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Thom Barker

About the Author: Thom Barker

After graduating with a geology degree from Carleton University and taking a detour through the high tech business, Thom started his journalism career as a fact-checker for a magazine in Ottawa in 2002.
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