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Lone wolf goes island-hopping

Aug 11 2012

A wolf that was seen on Discovery Island, off Oak Bay, is apparently island-hopping, keeping up its strength by eating seals.

Wolf scat containing seal hair was found Friday on tiny Vantreight Island by Songhees bylaw enforcement officer Trevor Absolon. "I just talked to the B.C. Parks people and they said there have been quite a few discoveries of feces," Absolon said.

Vantreight, part of the Songhees reserve, is close to Chatham Island, where there were also reported wolf signs in recent weeks

The wolf was initially monitored on Discovery Island. Traps were put out by B.C. Conservation Service, but then removed. The wolf has shown no sign of being a risk to people.

But the long-term prognosis for the animal is not good, said Chris Darimont, Raincoast Conservation Foundation science director.

"This is an example of our coastal wolves in action. He or she is doing exactly what coastal wolves do, but in a bizarre place," said Darimont.

The islands off Oak Bay are too close to humans and there is not enough land to comfortably support the animal, Darimont said. He fears that the wolf will run out of food or there will be a conflict with humans, but hopes that the animal can be trapped and relocated.

jlavoie@timescolonist.com

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